AlburyCity and Wodonga Council are encouraging all Border residents to look out for their neighbours - particularly those who are most vulnerable - and show their community spirit during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
Mayors Cr Kevin Mack and Cr Anna Speedie are reminding residents that ‘kindness is catching’ as part of a campaign to encourage community members to look after each other and themselves by staying connected, staying healthy and being neighbourly.
The councils will share the “kindness is catching” message overcoming weeks to help the community combat social isolation, loneliness and additional stress during this uncertain time.
The campaign encourages neighbourhoods to stay connected while encouraging a better quality of life, a feeling of safety and keeping our community engaged with an overall sense of belonging.
With many acts of kindness starting to emerge online, the councils have developed a free postcard that can be downloaded from the websites or picked up at some chemists and coffee shops across the Border.
Residents can use the postcard to assist the vulnerable and isolated or those having difficulties coping in our community by popping it in their neighbour’s mailbox using good hand hygiene or screenshot and send to neighbours electronically.
Cr Mack said it was a trying time for everyone, amid concerns the pressures will lead to alarming social problems if people don’t unite to help each other.
“With people confined in their homes, worrying about their families and their livelihoods, there is a risk that we’ll see more tension between family members and neighbours,” he said.
“However, we also know that Albury-Wodonga is a close and caring community and we urge everyone to remember that help is available and to show patience, tolerance and understanding as we all work together to get through this very tough time.
“Showing a little kindness can go a very long way towards keeping our community healthy and safe in the face of unprecedented pressures.”
Cr Speedie said the Border community was well-known for its generosity and unity, and called on everyone to get on board.
“What we’re asking people to do is please reach out and check on your neighbours, especially our older and vulnerable neighbours,” Cr Speedie said.
“It could be something as simple as offering to purchase a few groceries when you’re next on the street, helping to put their bins out or even just writing down your phone number so they have someone to call if they need to have a chat.
“This also gives people a chance to connect in ways we might not have considered and result in lifelong friendships.”
General kindness tips:
- Pick up the phone and call someone who you think may be feeling lonely
- Go for a walk in nature
- Support a small business
- Be kind and patient with people who are working on the front line (supermarkets, chemists, medical facilities)
- Monitor your consumption of news
- Offer to shop or cook a meal for a friend or neighbour
- Have a virtual Friday night catch up with your friends, play board games or chat about what you’ve been doing.
Residents are urged to remember to practice social distancing at all times staying 1.5m away from the nearest person, only having a maximum of two people in a gathering and practicing good hygiene such as hand washing and coughing into your elbow or a tissue.
The situation is rapidly changing and the councils will continue monitor government advice and act promptly as the situation changes.