Neighbours Day Aotearoa is a national event that aims to help bring people together by encouraging intentional connection with their neighbours.
It began in 2009, and this year the theme for the day is Kai Connections.
It is about getting people to engage in all the different ways we connect over kai – growing, sharing, eating. It is a common denominator amongst all communities that food brings people together.
Regardless of where you live, knowing your neighbours matters.
Communities with more everyday neighbourliness are more resilient, and this significantly enhances the wellbeing of individuals, whanau and the wider community.
Connect Cromwell Community Liaison’s Georgie Affleck has a few things she encourages the local community to watch out for the week (not just the day) 17-24 March.
A new project is the Preserve Pack – Contact Connect Cromwell or Community House to register interest, and you will be given a bag with everything you need to make a jam at home with a friend or neighbour.
The pack will include fruit, jars and full ingredients.
Make it just for yourselves, share it with other neighbours, or give it to the food bank.
Then there is Crop Swap, on 19 March, 9am-10am (it happens every second Saturday), on the green behind the Masonic Lodge in the Cromwell Heritage Precinct.
Just turn up with your excess fruit, veggies, herbs or produce, and take what you need from other people’s excess. No need to barter – just help yourself. The Community Pantry, assisted as a Winning Idea by Connect Cromwell, is up and running.
Alongside Cromwell Community House are shelves for people to take and give as they are able – ‘give generously, take mindfully’.
Georgie says, “Check it out!”
Another Winning Ideas project is Ethnic Eats, which has its final lunch on 13 March at the Sports Club, 1-4pm. See Cromwell Newcomers on Facebook for more information.
Finally for Neighbours celebration this year, there is Connect over a Cuppa. Send in a photo to Cromwell Connect or to Cromwell Community House on Facebook by 20 March, or tell them face to face about your neighbour, and win one of three types of packs – ‘Morning Glory’, coffee, tea and nibbles; ‘Afternoon Fun’, chips, dip, crackers and more; ‘For the Little People’, hot chocolate, marshmallows and more. More details at: email@example.com