We all know that social isolation and loneliness have massive negative health impacts, which is why for the last two years it has been my job at The Pear cafe in Alberton to enable and strengthen meaningful connections between people in our neighbourhood. Covid-19 poses a real threat to those connections since physical distancing protects people from getting sick and transmitting this virus to others. We want to keep our neighbourhood connected so that older people, single people, people with disabilities, people living with mental illness, people living with domestic violence, and everyone else does not have to go through this pandemic alone. We want to set up a 'Neighbourhood Care' project: where we connect local people that need help with local people who can help through a volunteer service that they can ring up 24/7, where we support people to paint their wall or fence or pavement to brighten other people's day when they are still allowed to go for a walk, where we enable people to participate safely and for free in public art projects that will later remind us of how we all got through this together, where we distribute art and craft packs for people to join in with an online art/craft class that is facilitated by one of their neighbours, where we keep our Cov-enience Pantry (accessible 24/7) stocked up for those in our neighbourhood who cannot afford to go out to the supermarket and shop for the whole week, where we drop off flowers at people's houses so they can leave a flower and a message at their neighbour's front door, and where we can support any great idea that people in our community have for staying connected and improving mental health and well-being. We know that community connection makes people more resilient, and that is exactly what we need during this time. We want to make people feel part of their community both online and offline and make them feel that they can rely on each other, all while keeping each other at a safe physical distance.
Funded by Adelaide (March 2020)