NEIGHBOURHOOD: A STRATEGY FOR TODAY’S WELLBEING

The world today is complex. The community too is complex.  Challenges such as loneliness and isolation are drastically on the increase. Neighbourhood, a strategy for wellbeing was launched in February 2019 funded by People’s Trust.  Since then meetings have been held at Hexham Community Centre, South Reading fortnightly.  The focus has been on the four crucial themes that enhance WELLBEING:

  • Music which is a therapy
  • Art which is a skill
  • Drama which is an exercise
  • Story telling which is a healing and a real experience

At the beginning of the project, the word neighbourhood sounded usual and was clear with the participants. It was just an ordinary and a 13 lettered word.  They took it for granted and known by everyone for years.  Little did they know that they were wrong.  They had never stopped to ask themselves a simple and important question, who is my neighbour?  It was discovered after a few sessions that neighbourhood was not just a word.  It was WEALTH.  Understanding neighbourhood in its true sense and applied would promote the community wellbeing.  Further discussions shared revealed that taking neighbourhood seriously would be a solution to challenges such as loneliness and isolation in the community.  Before long, the participants perception of neighbourhood totally changed.  How? they embraced neighbourhood to be an important and empowering tool that promotes powerful GOOD NEIGHBOURHOOD.

Neighbourhood was taken as an acronym and shared among participants.  It was a joy and amazement to stop and reflect what it meant at the end of the exercise.  It has been used in the community in addressing loneliness and isolation.  Below are various meanings of each letter of the word NEIGHBOURHOOD.

N:        Networks are important and crucial.  Network with neighbours

            Nurture new friendships

            Nice neighbours are needed

            Never ignore neighbours

E:        Engage with neighbours, be part of the programs in the neighbourhood/entertain

            Environments needs to be looked after, every neighbour has a responsibility

            Every neighbour is important

            Empower each other and emulate

I:          Inquire about your neighbour’s wellbeing

            Integrate with your neighbours

            Identify them individually by name, invest and show interest in them

            Involve and inspire your neighbours

G:         Generations of neighbours

            Good neighbours, be one and be generous

            Gifts such as simple birthday cards need to be shared

            Grateful for your neighbours

H:        Happy neighbours

            Hello and how are you goes a long way

            Helping hand in the neighbourhood is essential without expecting back. 

            Humility and to be humble to neighbours are important

B:        Build relationships, no man is an island

            Be real and friendly in all your undertakings

            Boundary keeping is necessary

            Be nice and you will attract more neighbours

O:        Open minded person makes integration possible

            Ongoing support to neighbours is a gift and necessary

            Overcome barriers to good neighbourhood

            Optimistic is positive mind that leads to be organised

U:         Unity with neighbours is essential

             Useful neighbours are necessary

             Understanding neighbours is important

             Utilise opportunities with neighbours

R:         Rational neighbours and remember to wish them well

             Respect your neighbours at all times   

             Reliable neighbours are real investment treasure them

             Resourceful neighbours go along way

H:        Honest neighbour

            Happy neighbour promotes happiness

            Humility is key to good neighbourhood

            Harmless neighbour

O:        Outgoing and outstanding neighbour

            Opportunities in the area

            Oneness with neighbours

            Ordinary and not complex in behaviour

O:        Optimistic always positive

            Out and about neighbour

            Online knowledge

            Originality

D:        Discover your different talents and positively impact your community

            Dependable always

            Diligent in addressing issues

            Dedicate time to good neighbourhood event

Summary:

Neighbourhood, a strategy for today’s wellbeing FOCUSES on four KEY PILLARS : RESPECT, VALUE, TEAMWORK (TOGETHERNESS) AND SUPPORT/CARING as summed up in empowering quotes:  

 

  1. RESPECT: “Every individual has a place to fill in the world and is important in some respect whether he chooses to be so or not” by Nathaniel Hawthorne

 

  1. VALUE AND APPRECIATE: “I always thought I had good neighbours it turns out, I have the best neighbours in the world” by Jim Casey

 

  1. TOGETHERNESS: “We have great neighbourhood, we are all family oriented, we take care of each other” by Janet Blakeslee

 

  1. SUPPORT AND CARING: “Our pockets aren’t full of money, so it boils down to neighbours helping neighbours” By Whitney Beem

 

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