Brimbank City Council is encouraging residents to get to know their neighbours by offering grants for activities that will bring people together for Neighbour Day on Sunday 25 March.
Neighbour Day, now in its 15th year, is Australia’s annual celebration of community, encouraging people to connect with those who live in their neighbourhood.
Mayor Cr Margaret Giudice said 48 grants of up to $250 each would be available to residents, not-for-profit groups and organisations that organise an activity to bring people together in their neighbourhood.
“It’s the perfect day for people to get to know their neighbours, welcome newcomers and encourage healthy, safe and well connected neighbourhoods.
“Community wellbeing is one of Council’s key objectives, and Neighbour Day can help achieve this by bringing people together and helping to build community.
“This will be the fourth year that Brimbank Council has supported Neighbour Day – and it’s great to see more than 2,000 Brimbank residents embrace the initiative and connect through Neighbour Day each year.
“Anyone planning a fun activity to get people living in your neighbourhood together on Neighbour Day, whether it be a barbecue or a sports game in a local park, should consider applying for a grant to assist with running the activity,” Cr Giudice said.
Applications for Neighbour Day grants open on Tuesday 30 January and close on Tuesday 27 February.
To be successful grant applications need to show how the activity will connect people and encourage neighbourhood participation at a local level. Applications must also detail how the money will be spent. Grants cannot be used to purchase some items, such as alcohol.
Relationships Australia manages Neighbour Day, and this year’s theme is “The importance of a supportive neighbourhood for children and young people”.
Neighbour Day was founded by Andrew Heslop, an Australian community activist in Melbourne in March 2003. What started as a warning to check on elderly neighbours has grown into a much wider annual celebration of strong communities and friendly streets. Neighbours are important because good relationships with others can and do change the community we live in. Now in its 15th year Neighbour Day aims to reduce social isolation and encourage people to look out for one another.
A simple application process has been developed for the Neighbour Day grants to make it as easy as possible for people to apply.
An information sheet that explains the grant application process and provides examples and ideas for activities is available by contacting Council on 9249 4000 or visiting Neighbour Day Grants.