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Share Your stories, Tell Us Your Experiences!

When neighbours help neighbours.

Do you know of a group of neighbours, large or small, who assist, support, or look out for each other? Have you seen examples of neighbours helping neighbours either in your own community or somewhere else? We’d love to hear about it!

We all sometimes face circumstances that can cause stress, strain or even temporary crises in our day-to-day lives. In those times, a little helping hand, a gesture of support, or simply a compassionate ear can often make a big difference. 

But for many of us living in Canada, our support networks of families and friends are geographically spread out. Neighbours, of course, are in the unique, convenient position of living right next door! This makes it relatively easy to casually connect, build relationships, and even offer help to one another–help that can, sometimes, be vital. So when a whole community of neighbours starts looking out for one another more regularly, the positive impacts on everyone’s resilience and ability to navigate stresses, emergencies, illness or aging could be immense! 

But how do neighbours get to know each other, start communicating more regularly, ask for help, and learn how they can best help each other? What are some of the different ways neighbours form into organized “mutual assistance” groups? What are some real-world examples we can look to for ideas and inspiration?

At Building Resilient Neighbourhoods, we’re currently delving into research, talking with experts, and beginning to develop a “Neighbours-Helping-Neighbours” program. But we know that residents and neighbours themselves are often the best experts! Can you help us? Do you know of any examples of groups of neighbours organizing and helping each other? 

Some examples include neighbours who:

  • share rides for appointments or errands
  • set up a buddy system to check in with one another during emergencies
  • regularly share tools, knowledge, or skills, informally or through structured systems

Case Study

Condo Care

In a fascinating example, neighbours in a Toronto condominium have formed a “Condo Care” group. Residents with skills in plumbing, electrical work or mechanical repairs volunteer to help their neighbours with simple tasks around the home. These volunteers feel valued and more connected to their neighbours. And those that receive the help are grateful to know there’s someone trustworthy nearby they can call on, and they often feel motivated to “give back” to the neighbour community in some way themselves.

Do you know of any similar kinds of stories of neighbours helping neighbours in ways big or small, informal or formally organized? We’d love to hear from you!  We’ll then share back what we learn with all of you and, together, we can hopefully engage, educate and excite each other about the future of neighbours helping neighbours! 

Reach out and share your stories and examples of neighbours helping neighbours with me, Molly Rose, at .

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