VICSES Supporting Neighbour Day 2022

VICSES Supporting Neighbour Day 2022

25/03/2022, 4:57 PM

This Sunday 26 March, we are celebrating Neighbour Day; an annual event to encourage people to connect with the folks in their neighbourhood.

Research shows those who have strong relationships with their neighbours, and within their communities, are more likely to help one another in an emergency, which leads to better outcomes.

For our VICSES Emerald Unit Controller Ben Owen, these connections were vital when his own neighbour helped to save his family, after they had become trapped when a large tree came down over their home.

Late last year, during the October storms in Greater Melbourne, Ben set out set out to lend a hand in his SES volunteer capacity, when a large pine tree fell on his own home in Cockatoo, trapping his wife, daughters and pet dog inside.

By the time he arrived home a few minutes later, his neighbour was already there and had smashed open a bedroom window so Ben’s wife, who was trapped inside, could get out.

Although Ben’s house was destroyed, the help of his neighbour provided immediate comfort and support and ensured that Ben’s family were safely able to get out.

That’s why this year, VICSES is encouraging community members to reach out to your neighbours on Neighbour Day, and start to build on those important connections. You never know, when you might need them.

We know that 80% of people say their neighbours have been a source of support during the pandemic. In emergencies caused by flood and storm events this is support is no less important and at times, those that live around you may be your first responders.

Your local community will manage better in a crisis when you have put that work in beforehand, and created connections like on Neighbour Day. But there are many other benefits to building those respectful relationships. The tangible feeling of being supported, and returning that support, can lead to changes in mental health and wellbeing.

It is for all these reasons that, at VICSES, we are proud supporters of Neighbour Day. Following lockdowns and an ongoing pandemic, it has never been as important to maintain social connections and look out for one another.

Strengthening your community starts with reaching out to your neighbour. Once you have created those positive relationships, you have an understanding of who might be vulnerable during an emergency. This may help to save lives. 

The person next door could be the one who notifies you of an emergency, calls for help from emergency responders or, as we saw in floods in other states recently  may act as the first responder before crews can arrive.

How can I get involved? 

On Sunday 27th March, all you do is introduce yourself to your neighbours, whether it’s through an organised street party, a chat over a cup of tea, or a friendly note under the door. 

To raise visibility of Neighbour Day, why not share your experience on social media using the hashtag #NeighbourDay2022 or #ND22. 

For more information visit,