Neighbouring Guide During
Being a good neighbour has always been a good idea. For the foreseeable future many people will be working more from home, staying closer to home for vacation and downtime, and may feel isolated and more distant from friends and relatives. That’s why it's more important than ever that we be that good neighbour. We know you want to get this right, and we want to help.
Trying to connect with others can feel complicated with all of the current restrictions and physical distancing guidelines. If you haven’t met your neighbours yet we’ve got some ideas to help you make those first connections in fun and helpful ways. If you already have relationships with your neighbours, we want to help you up the fun and create deeper connections right in your neighbourhood.
Here are a few ways you can take the first step and say “hi” to your neighbours:
Email, text or call.
If you don’t have their contact information, leave a note on their door sharing your contact information with them. Let them know that you are available to help if they need anything. It could be help with groceries or errands, and it could be help with cleaning the eaves, raking the lawn, or moving a piece of furniture. This is a welcomed offer not just now during COVID-19 restrictions, but anytime!
Get outside. Go for a walk at times when you might meet a neighbour doing yard work. Or sit in your front yard instead of the backyard, and say hi to people as they walk by. Even brief interactions can lead to a friendship.
Connect with people in your area using apps like NextDoor, or search to see if your community has a Facebook group you can join.
Use Fun to Bring People Together
Start a neighbourhood-wide challenge: It could be minutes of exercise, how many puzzles your family completes, or books you read. Shared challenges can create connection and fun!
Have a sidewalk chalk art exhibition: each person or family can draw on the sidewalk in front of their home, and everyone can walk around the block to enjoy the exhibit.
Host a physically distant picnic: Invite the neighbours to all come out on their their front yards for a meal or a snack at the same time. Play some music, and enjoy some time together while still following current distancing guidelines.
Have a virtual game night: Get everyone together on Zoom or another video conferencing app. Here are a few games you can play together:
Scattergories online (you’ll find it here). The meeting shares their screen, and everyone joins in!
Kahoot! Trivia App: You will find instructions on how to get started here. Just remember, if you are the host you will have to share your screen.
Virtual Scavenger hunt: Create a list of items you’ll have people hunt for in their homes. First one back to the screen with the item wins the round!
Help in Meaningful Ways
Elderly Neighbours: Call, text, or visit in-person from a safe distance. Ask if they need anything (from groceries, to prescription refills, a good book, a puzzle, help with technology to connect with family and friends, etc)., Sometimes what they need most is just someone to talk to, so don’t be in a hurry.
Single Parents: It's hard for single parents with young kids to shop right now. Don’t be afraid to reach out and offer to pick up what they need the next time you’re headed to the store.
Neighbours living alone: Do you have a neighbours young or old who lives alone? They may not have seen family or friends for a long time now, so connect with them in any way possible to let them know they are not alone.