Milton Street, Lismore Heights has residents who care about each other.
Milton Street, Lismore Heights has residents who care about each other. The Northern Star

How well do you know your neighbour?

“I HAVE great neighbours,” Andre Othenin-Girard said.

“We all help each other, and at Christmas we get together at one of our homes and have fun, talk and share a few drinks”.

This week is Get To Know Your Neighbour Week, an initiative of the NSW Police force that aims to create safer communities within the region by promoting community spirit, improving communications between police and the community, assisting in deterring criminal activity and preventing crime.

Police are urging residents to make their town friendlier by volunteering to organise a dinner, picnic, movie or other social event with their neighbours during this week.

The police view of good neighbours is people who help others feel safe, get together through the year, develop a phone network to call those who may be unwell, watch out for suspicious activity; and go out of their way to be helpful.

Lismore Neighborhood Centre vice-president and part-time volunteer Andre Othenin-Girard said his Lismore Heights street was a place where everyone helped each other.

“My wife Valerie and I have lived in the same street for 14 years. There's an elderly lady living opposite who needs help putting her wheelie bins out, so I do that for her,” he said.

“The guy next door helps me out with handyman jobs that I'm no good at. Last week he was up on my roof, which I don't like to do any more, and we often borrow each other's tools.”

The guy next door is Rod Shoesmith, who has lived in the street for eight years and enjoys being able to help Andre with practical tasks.

“Other neighbours in this street look after each other's property and keep an eye on security in the street.

“If someone is going on holidays, they can give me the keys to their house and I'll collect the mail and make sure the place is secure.

“If they have pets, they would be looked after too.

“I believe the key to being a good neighbour is to be accommodating, helpful and attentive to each other's needs”.

"If someone is going on holidays they can give me the keys to their house and I'll collect the mail and make sure their place is secure ”



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