20 Jul 2023

In a post-COVID world, Christchurch City Council’s “Summer With Your Neighbours” scheme is more important than ever.

Christchurch resident Vilna Gough-Jones has applied and received funding for three events over the years, including community lunches at St Christopher’s Church, an evening of croquet at Fendalton Croquet Club and Pizza in the Park at Staveley Street Reserve.

“Socialising with neighbours is becoming extremely important as there are many single folks in our street. With the restrictions, isolation and upheaval from COVID, meeting together is very important,” says Ms Gough-Jones.  

“Funding from the Council allowed these social events to happen without putting a burden on the participants. Neighbours were encouraged to step out and meet each other, and organising something like a pizza meal is easy to do.”

The funding scheme provides a subsidy for events and activities to bring people closer together and celebrate the unique and diverse mix of each neighbourhood.

Ms Gough-Jones says each event saw individuals of all ages from the neighbourhood coming along as it offered a chance to meet neighbours you hadn’t met before. “Meaningful conversations and the building of relations can happen over a shared meal. Hospitality builds relationships!”

Christchurch City Council Acting Head of Community Support and Partnerships Matthew Pratt says the fantastic part of this initiative is that the neighbours themselves get to decide how they want to come together and when.

“We know how important it is for communities in Christchurch to be strong together, and this has become even more prevalent post-COVID. Council provides funding for neighbours to socialise and connect while bringing their neighbourhoods together,” says Mr Pratt.

Applications for the Christchurch City Council’s funding scheme are open now until 5pm 11 August 2023. Learn more here.