21 March, 2023

Having a sense of belonging where we live can make us happier and less lonely.

Social isolation is a major cause of loneliness. Building a sense of community in your neighbourhood can help reduce social isolation for yourself and for your neighbours.

Here are 5 fun ways that you can create connection and community in your neighbourhood.


1. Become a regular at a local business

Frequenting local businesses, such as your favourite café, can help establish some familiar friendly faces. You can also attend your nearest weekly market, where local vendors sell their products and services.

Plus, supporting local businesses will contribute to their success while stimulating your neighbourhood’s economy.


2. Chat to other parents (or fur parents) at the local park

Whether you have human children or four-legged children, going to the playground or dog park is an easy way to make friends with other locals.

A survey shows that attending local parks and owning a pet are by far the top ways that Australians meet people in their neighbourhood.

Visiting the park on a regular basis with your children or your dog will incorporate some consistent socialisation into your life. Your child or your dog can form their own friendships at the park, too.


3. Welcome the newcomers in your area

Create a shared sense of community by welcoming the newcomers of your neighbourhood or building.

You could recommend your favourite local places and offer them tips and insight on the neighbourhood.

More personable approaches might include gifting them some homegrown produce from your garden or leaving a kind note on their door.


4. Join or start a local group or club

Joining a local group or club can create a sense of belonging in your area. You can find local groups and clubs relevant to your interests and hobbies on Facebook or Meetup.

If there isn’t already a group for your specific interest, why not start one? You can gather attendees easily on the previously mentioned social apps or by posting flyers around your building or neighbourhood.


5. Throw a party

Your neighbours can’t complain about the noise if they’re at your party!

Jokes aside, hosting a party can be a fun, casual way for neighbours to get to know each other. Easy ideas include a BYO barbecue or a neighbourhood Christmas celebration.

At the end of every March, Australia’s annual Neighbour Day is the perfect excuse to throw a neighbourhood party. Neighbour Day is reported to have lasting outcomes, with 95% of participants reporting that they plan to maintain ongoing contact with the neighbours they met at a Neighbour Day event.

If you’re feeling lonely or having trouble making friends, our counsellors are here to help. You can learn more about our counselling service here, or call 1300 364 277 to make an appointment.

Just moved? We offer some tips on making friends in our blog post How to Meet People in a New City.