Do You Know Your Neighbour?

The ‘Do You Know Your Neighbour?’ (DYKYN) awareness campaign (August 2019-November 2019) evolved from the Hamilton Seniors Isolation Impact Plan (HSIIP). Recognizing that connecting generations has the potential to reduce social isolation as well as to mitigate against ageism, the HSIIP Steering Committee established a small working group to explore ways to support older adults at risk of social isolation.

The overall goal of the working group was ‘to create low to no cost, community-informed strategies to reach and support adults 55+ who are experiencing or, are at risk of experiencing, social isolation’.

With limited time and resources, the working group narrowed their scope to focus on the DYKYN awareness campaign and further refined their focus to concentrate on only one neighbourhood in the east part of downtown Hamilton.

The three key messages of the DYKYN campaign were as follows:

  • Building neighbourhoods for all ages results in healthy and safe communities
  • Every individual, regardless of age, race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, abilities or other factors can contribute to the neighbourhood in some way
  • Connecting with people helps to prevent isolation and loneliness

The DYKYN campaign was instrumental in helping to shift the HSIIP narrative from isolation to inclusion, to focus more on prevention and to adopt a multigenerational approach.

One of our events took place at the Eva Rothwell Community Centre in Hamilton. At this event, we talked with participants about why it is important to support our neighbours. We also invited participants to share stories about what they currently do to help their neighbours and to consider what more they could be doing.

A summary of the steps leading up to the Eva Rothwell event on October 5th, 2019, follows. It may give the reader some sense about the background preparation and promotional activity that goes into preparing for this type of event. We are extremely appreciative of the welcome and support we received in the Keith Neighbourhood and, contingent on available resources, hope to roll the campaign out to all Hamilton neighbourhoods in the future.

Do You Know Your Neighbour – Campaign Summary

Thu Sep-05-19 Pop Up – Keith Neighbourhood Hub Meeting 5 pm – 9 pm
– met with 20 community hub members to get support for campaign
– invited to attend community BBQ the following day
– members were supportive of campaign
Sat Sep-07-19 Pop Up – Community BBQ – Info Booth 12 pm – 4 pm – set up display booth and networked with community members
– roughly 80 community members attended the BBQ
– engaged with roughly 47 members and gave out invitation cards
– roughly 15 participants seemed interested and were engaged in asking questions
Wed Sep-11-19 Distribution – event media
– 53 postcards & 2 posters given to Eva Rothwell Centre
Fri Sep-27-19 Distribution – event media
– 20 invitations & 2 posters given to St. Matthews House
– 30 invitations & 2 posters given to Barton Library
Sat Sep-28-19 Distribution – event media
– 17 invitations & 2 posters given to 541 Eatery
– 3 posters given to commercials on Barton: River Trading Co, River Rat Co, Sewing Co
– 21 invitations given out to neighbourhood across from Eva Rothwell
Mon Sep-30-19 Pop Up – Seniors Program – Eva Rothwell 10am – 11am
– spoke with 1 staff and 6 participants
– handed out 6 invitations to participants and
– left 20 invitations and 2 posters with staff
– left extra invitations and posters with Eva Rothwell front desk
Mon Sep-30-19 Pop Up – Barton Library – Art Class 3pm – 4pm
– engaged with 2 participants and 1 staff
– left extra postcards with staff
Mon Sep-30-19 Distribution – event media
– 541 Eatery gave extra invitations and 2 posters to staff
– Hamilton Community Health – told to come back in AM when mgmt. available
– VON – left 2 posters for staff
Wed Oct-02-19 Distribution – event media
– Hamilton Community Health – Victoria St. – gave 50 invitations and 4 posters
– Compass community health – gave 55 invitations and 4 posters
– HHS – was not able to leave materials and asked to call HR for permission.
Wed Oct-02-19 Pop Up – Youth Program
– spoke with 11 youth and gave out invitations.
– 3 youth engaged in conversation and wanted more information.
– spoke with Jordan Youth Program Coordinator, gave 50 invitations to distribute.
– left 40 invitations with front desk
Wed Oct-02-19 Distribution – event media
– Hamilton Community Health – Victoria St. – gave 50 invitations and 4 posters
– Compass community health – gave 55 invitations and 4 posters
– HHS – was not able to leave materials and asked to call HR for permission.
– St. Vincent De Paul – gave 50 invitations
Fri Oct-04-19 Pop Up – Seniors Centre, Barton Street
– spoke with roughly 25 seniors, gave out invitations
– many were engaged and seemed interested in attending the event

Finally, a DYKYN Facebook page was created. For the fall of 2019, because of its affiliation with the HSIIP project, the Facebook page was intended primarily for residents of Hamilton. However, we have now opened the group up to anyone wishing to contribute and to learn from others. You can find the group on Facebook under Do You Know Your Neighbour?

There were a number of promotional materials created for the DYKYN campaign. You will find downloadable copies here. We invite you to modify these for potential use in your own communities.

The activity card, which some have said remind them of a honeycomb, has been used not only for the DYKYN campaign but it is being used by front line staff with their clients and in retirement homes. You may find other uses for it as well.

Please note that the Community Resource Contact Card was not created specifically for the DYKYN campaign but is another legacy tool of the HSIIP project. Unlike other DYKYN tools, this card was created with an older user in mind and represents frequently called numbers in the Hamilton community. The cards had magnets attached so that, if desired, an individual could post the card on their refrigerator, or other magnetic surface, for easy access. Again, please feel free to adopt this card if it would be beneficial in your community.

Downloadable Tools