The Hello Neighbour Project is a concept developed in a workshop facilitated by the CQUniversity Rockhampton Region Engagement Committee in November 2018 to address the issue of loneliness in our community. This workshop represented Phase 2 of the broader Loneliness Project, with phase 1 including a literature review on the problem of loneliness and interventions to address it.
Loneliness can impact on various factors in a person’s life: work, health, and relationships. A community is seen to not be performing when loneliness is widespread, and neighbours can contribute to promote community connection. The challenge of motivating busy people to engage with their neighbour is the most significant barrier to achieving this connection.
The Hello Neighbour concept is to start the conversation about loneliness at neighbourhood level (i.e. awareness). Some people are easy to reach (i.e. already engaged in services), whilst others are hard to reach (i.e. people not engaged in services). At a local level the opportunity arises through conversation with a neighbour to engage someone who has potentially ‘fallen through the cracks’.
Our inaugural event ‘Neighbour Day’ was undertaken in March 2019. With the theme ‘Loneliness and what neighbours can do to create connections’. The onset of the COVID 19 pandemic and the associated restrictions have hindered our ability to plan and promote community events, however the need for neighbourhood connection at a time when it is probably needed most. Vaccine development and an easing of restrictions may now make it feasible to conduct community events with appropriate precautions.
Our goal is for every street in our region to adopt the Hello Neighbour campaign. This campaign could start with a small number of streets to generate publicity and encourage others to mobilise their own street. One proposal is for wheelie bin stickers to be used to keep the campaign visible in each street and encourage residents to think about connecting with their neighbours. We believe action at the street level is easier for small number of motivated people to start than at the suburb or whole of community level.
We are interested in hearing from community members interested in contributing time and ideas to this project.
15 September 2021
The End Loneliness Committee lodged a 12 page submission to the Queensland Parliament is inquiring into social isolation and loneliness in Queensland….
31 August 2021
After 5 years of research and development into this important initiative the launch of End Loneliness Inc. has been scheduled for 23…
29 July 2021
The Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service approved the first ‘Smile Zone’ at the Rockhampton Hospital.
16 March 2021
End Loneliness was officially incorporated on 16 March, 2021.