Tuesday 30 April 2020

From 8-15 May across Australia, Neighbourhood House Week will celebrate the invaluable contributions neighbourhood houses and community centres make to their local communities.

While under normal circumstances a range of events and activities would be held across the state to mark the occasion, due to COVID-19 restrictions, in 2020 celebrations will occur online instead.

Statement from Nicole Battle, CEO of Neighbourhood Houses Victoria:

“This year’s theme for Neighbourhood House Week is ‘Loneliness: the solution is community’ after recent studies revealed 1 in 4 Australians experience loneliness.

Through their sheer existence, Neighbourhood Houses battle loneliness and social isolation every day by offering a safe and inclusive space for people to reach out for company, support and a sense of belonging.

201,000 Victorians visit a Neighbourhood House in an average week. We know that despite the many reasons that may have bought them there, each and every one of them benefits from an increased sense of community connection and solidarity – that’s what makes our sector so special.

While this year’s Neighbourhood House Week theme was decided long before COVID-19, it is relevant more than ever during this period of self-isolation as many Victorians will be experiencing a heightened sense of loneliness, isolation and anxiety.

During the last couple of months, Neighbourhood Houses have been at the forefront of the coronavirus pandemic, continuing to uplift their communities through the delivery of essential services such as food relief, meal support, childcare, adult education, and providing key government services.

They have had to come up with new and creative ways to keep community members connected – so many have moved story times, exercise classes, music classes, adult education courses online.  For those who aren’t digitally connected, calls and letter drops are occurring to ensure the most vulnerable in our communities aren’t left behind.

Some houses are even gathering volunteers to sew scrubs for local health care workers.

The generosity of this sector, it’s staff and volunteers, knows no bounds. That’s why now more than ever, their hard work and dedication must be recognised and celebrated – and never taken for granted.

As CEO of this sector, I couldn’t be prouder.”

We encourage everyone to share our Neighbourhood House Week promo video which highlights the outstanding work occurring during COVID-19:

For all social media posts relating to Neighbourhood House Week, use the hashtag #NHW2020 

For more information on the theme ‘Loneliness: the solution is community’ visit the Neighbourhood House Week website.

Photo credited to Adam Trafford, from The Courier.