It’s Neighbour Day every day at Lakeside Lara
On Wednesday 30 March, the residents at Ingenia Lifestyle Lakeside Lara will celebrate Neighbour Day’s 20th anniversary with a ‘Know Thy Neighbour’ event.
An initiative by Relationships Australia, Neighbour Day is designed to tackle the pitfalls of social isolation by encouraging people to join with neighbours and community and build meaningful social connection.
According to the 2020 Neighbour Day Evaluation study, 42% of participants did not know their neighbours well, and 85% agreed that after participating in Neighbour Day activities, they had stronger relationships with their neighbours.
Living in an Ingenia community reduces the potential for isolation and loneliness, and Neighbour Day is just one way that Lakeside Lara residents come together.
‘Know Thy Neighbour’ encourages people to talk about shared interests, celebrate with friends and neighbours, and welcome recent arrivals to the community.
Ingenia Lifestyle Lakeside Lara, part of Ingenia over 55’s communities’ group, are continually taking the community spirit a step further, with these celebrations being just one part of a comprehensive ongoing program of community activities. Regular opportunities for residents to engage include a walking group, trivia, afternoon teas, games, book club, group trips in the local community, and guest speakers to talk on topics of interest.
Ingenia Lifestyle Lakeside Lara Community Manager Cath Stahl says community connection is critical for older Australians, especially for those who may be living alone.
“Creating these opportunities for connection lets people know that the little things matter and it builds genuine community connection,” Ms Stahl said.
“I love this part of my job – it is very fulfilling to connect with this amazing community. People want to come and have a chat, and it brings joy to give something of yourself to others.”
Resident Judith Prigg, who supports Ms Stahl by helping to organise regular events within the community, is equally passionate about fostering relationships within the community and taking the opportunity to celebrate and connect.
Ms Prigg has volunteered her time and been instrumental in organising the ‘Know Thy Neighbour’ sessions, which will bring groups together to share their stories and experiences around themed topics, with music, books, movies and hobbies.
Ms Prigg said that they are expecting around 100 residents to attend this year’s event, but they don’t plan to stop there.
“This is bigger than just Neighbour Day, we will carry this on throughout the year and get everyone involved – it’s especially good for any new residents who need help settling in,” Ms Prigg said.
The winner of this year’s much anticipated ‘Most Valued Neighbour’ award will also be announced at the Neighbour Day event, following a flurry of nominations from the community’s residents.
This year sees the award become an official annual event, with a voting system allowing residents to nominate one another for acts of kindness.
Last year’s inaugural winner Craig Werner was a popular choice and expected to feature in the voting again this year.
On winning last year, Mr Werner said “I felt really happy, it let me know how much I was appreciated.”
When asked what he thinks makes a great neighbour, he said “I think we need to be understanding of each other, be kind and just help with the little things”.
With over 100 nominations for this year’s award, it’s clear that Lakeside Lara residents are enthusiastic about supporting one another.
Several residents voluntarily organise opportunities for people to attend social events, to ensure connection on a regular basis. This is a strong indication of the type of connected community Lakeside Lara really is.
“The caring and fun-filled spirit is quite alive here – people let staff know if a neighbour is struggling (discreetly of course) or noticing if they haven’t seen someone in a while,” Ms Stahl said.
“There is a no shortage of activities that people can choose to get involved with or not, it’s entirely up to each resident.”
Find out more on Ingenia Lifestyle Lakeside Lara here.