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 26 March.
Mayor Cr John Hedditch said 20 grants of up to $250 each would be available to residents who organise a local activity that will help those living nearby connect with each other.
“Council wants to create connected, supported and welcoming communities that are healthy and safe places for people to live, work and play,” Cr Hedditch said.
“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.
“It was great to see how people embraced the initiative last year - more than 600 Brimbank residents connected through Neighbour Day 2016 in suburbs across Brimbank.
“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.”
Applications for Neighbour Day grants are now open and close on Tuesday 28 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.
Neighbour Day was founded by Andrew Heslop, an Australian community activist in Melbourne in March 2003 after the remains of an elderly woman were found inside her suburban home two years after she had passed away.
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 14th 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 Information.