In 2018, The Australian Psychological Society & Swinburne University of Technology conducted an online survey to explore the loneliness and physical and mental health of Australian adults. The Australian Loneliness Report determined that 1 in 4 Australian adults are lonely, 1 in 4 Australians experience high levels of social interaction anxiety and that lonely Australians have worse physical and mental health compared with Australians who are not lonely. 50% of people who were surveyed sometimes or always feel alone.
Compared with non-lonely people, lonely people:
- Experience more social anxiety
- Feel more depressed
- Are less connected with family, friends and neighbours
- Worse physical and mental health
- Poorer overall quality of life
In light of this study, this year’s Neighbourhood Centre’s Week theme was what neighbourhood centres do best, “Bringing People Together.”
Neighbourhood centres play an important role in strengthening communities, generating social well-being and connection.
From our neighbourhood centres located in the Penrith LGA, we work together with our local community to provide quality programs that enable strength, inclusion and respect, while reducing social and financial disadvantage and distress.
For this year’s Neighbourhood Centre’s week, we held a pop-up event at the Cranebrook Village Shops grassed area where community members got to participate in fun and free interactive activities.
We had over 75 community members come through our pop-up event visiting NCNS Community Development Worker, Justine Reynolds, and NCNS Youth Worker, Sami Thoms, at our information table, where they were provided with information about all of our programs and were able to take-home flyers for activities that interested them. We had NCNS Early Childhood Worker, Zoe Harris entertaining parents and children with her speciality, messy play! Families got to enjoy play dough, painting and interactive games with their little ones. If you loved this activity, we have more! Check out our Messy Play Bootcamps happening this term.
NCNS Work Placement Students, Jo & Fadzai, had a huge role in planning this event with guidance from NCNS Community Development Worker, Nada Mohammed. Jo & Fadzai had so much fun during the cupcake decorating workshop and really enjoyed having the opportunity to engage with the community. We also enjoyed a drumbeats workshop facilitated by NCNS Youth Worker, Joe Benchoam that was full of fun, laughter and energy, uniting people through rhythm.
When planning this event, we knew It was important to create inclusive activities that would encourage community participation and that would ‘bring people together.’
The day was about celebrating the role that Neighbourhood Centres play in the community as well as letting the community know how we can help.
If you are feeling lonely, don’t forget about your local neighbourhood centre, a place where you can connect with others in your local community through a range of programs and activities or just enjoy having a cuppa with us at the centre.Find out what’s on at our neighbourhood centres this term: