At Near Neighbours, we highlight the importance of neighbours and the power they have to bring communities together. Neighbours are unsung heroes in our communities. During times of hardship or difficulty, they can offer us a helping hand. This blog post shares some of the nicest/kindest things neighbours have done for some people. Here are the stories people wanted to share.

 

JULIA: I had a neighbour when I was in my 20s who would sometimes leave something delicious to eat on my kitchen table ready for when I came home.  She was an elderly lady and I was living on my own and it was wonderful to come back to a bit of unexpected home cooking – very good home cooking – and a real feeling of being cared for.  She gave me her scone recipe, which I still use 30 years later (ouch!) and they are always referred to as Mrs Curtis’s scones.

 

AMY: We held an open house with nibbles and drinks when we first moved into our house, as we really wanted to get to know our neighbours. A couple from two doors down came along, and now two years later they are firm friends.  It’s so nice to know we are looking out for each other and each other’s houses/ cars/ children/ pets! One of the most lovely and helpful things they do for us is to take the time to feed our two cats whenever we’re away from home for the night.

 

YULIYA: I live in an area where they are controlled parking zones, so it’s very hard to find parking. My neighbours, a retired couple, have made parking easier for me and my family by reserving a parking space for us every day! My neighbours, who don’t have to worry much about parking as they have their own garage, take their own car out of their garage every day to reserve a parking space for us on our road. They also give us the most amazing curries to eat as well! We both love to help each other and we have a strong bond.

 

TIM: I was playing in the garden with my sister when we were younger and the ball went over the big hedge at the back of our garden and into our neighbours’. We went round knowing they were a slightly older couple who didn’t have kids at home, so we expected them to be grumpy about two kids coming over to ask for their ball back. Instead they were really happy to see us and let us go and get our ball before sending us on our way with a couple of cans of fizzy drink.

 

LYNSEY: I have two stories to share. Firstly, when I lived in Addis Ababa I locked myself out of my flat, I think the key actually broke in the lock, and my flatmate was at her brother’s house. I think it was Easter so everyone was celebrating with their families around that time. The battery on my phone had died, my Amharic was, and is, very limited. I knocked on my neighbour’s door who then got some of our other neighbours to help dismantle the lock and then put it back together. They were all so lovely and helpful and even gave me some chocolate! I’m not sure what I would have done without them.

Secondly, another story is about my mum. When my sister died about 30 years ago (before I was born), my mum said that all the neighbours cooked for the family. She said she didn’t have to cook for a long time after because the neighbours organised it together so she wouldn’t have to.

 

AIMEE: We had a family cat which died when I was quite a lot younger - maybe 12 or 13 - and it obviously really upset me. I remember coming home from school to an empty house one afternoon shortly after, which felt emptier because the cat wasn't there. My newly moved in next door neighbour then unexpectedly rang the doorbell, and came in to see if I was okay - she had heard about our cat, and knew I'd probably be upset and came to give me a hug and answered the door with a steaming cup of tea. Even though I barely knew her, and my street is far from the friendliest street in the world, she'd come round to cheer me up and provide comfort. It was really touching and ten years later I still remember it vividly!

 

I want to thank everyone for sharing those heart-warming stories. I want to ask you - What is the nicest/kindest thing a neighbour has ever done for you?

Let us know by commenting on our Facebook post or tweet us @nearneighbours – we would love to hear from you!