Acts of kindness see us through in a time of fear

Come together: Kimberley Hargrave has helped start a local movement to bring people together during a time of fear and isolation. Photo: Supplied.
Come together: Kimberley Hargrave has helped start a local movement to bring people together during a time of fear and isolation. Photo: Supplied.

In this time of fear, uncertainty and isolation, you would be forgiven for finding it difficult to think positively.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Australians, like their global neighbours, are being told to remain indoors, refrain from visiting family and friends and are being forced out of work.

While this may seem grim, the consequences from not observing the advice to minimise contact with others and to social distance, as we all now know, are far greater and more far reaching.

Thankfully, a majority in our community are playing their part to protect one another from the spread of Coronavirus, but with so much doom and gloom surrounding our lives, it can feel like there is a dark cloud hanging over us.

But all is not lost. There are still innumerable individuals and groups across the Fleurieu who are working hard to support one another, check in on their neighbours and provide a ray of light in these dark times.

Inspired by action being taken on social media globally, Fleurieu local Kimberley Hargrave created the 'Love your Neighbour Fleurieu Peninsula' Facebook page, which in two weeks has already accumulated about 1500 members.

With the help of Mark Riessen, who earlier created a wider South Australian 'Love Your Neighbour' group and has spoken on radio about the concept, as well as fellow local administrators Melanie Clarke and Julia Davidson, the group continues to grow

Come together: Julia Davidson and daughter Kitty are two of many community members across the Fleurieu working hard to support one another. Photo: Supplied.

Come together: Julia Davidson and daughter Kitty are two of many community members across the Fleurieu working hard to support one another. Photo: Supplied.

Aiming to help people connect, provide support, inform and ensure those who are struggling receive the help they need, the team behind the page have started a local movement that is bringing out the positives during such a negative time.

"Making local connections and supporting our neighbours are two small, but important things we can do to get through this together," said Kimberley.

"The group is a positive place where people can share and spread good news."

The group consists of members from right across the Fleurieu, from Clayton Bay, to Victor Harbor to Aldinga.

As well as sharing positive news and forging community connections, the group also aims to inform and has three categories in operation for people to field queries about the current situation.

Group administrator Melanie Clarke. Photo: Supplied.

Group administrator Melanie Clarke. Photo: Supplied.

Using the hashtags #LYNHELP, #LYNOFFER, and #LYNQUESTION members can seek help, offer their services, or ask questions relating to COVID-19 and the community response to the pandemic.

So far, people have helped, offered and questioned in a number of ways.

Those struggling to get out of the house or find specific products have been aided by fellow group members who have offered to shop and deliver to them, books have been passed on and prescriptions have been collected, alongside countless other acts of kindness, in an inspiring show of community togetherness.

Group administrator Julia Davidson said the group provided an outlet to "share love, kindness and positivity in a world that is shrouded with uncertainty and fear at the moment".

"The group encourages a warm sense of community and belonging. Putting this into action, whether it's by delivering food to someone, doing a wellness check or simply sharing a smile, is sometimes just enough to change someone's day and make life a little brighter," Julia said.

Kimberley agreed and said the response to the group so far had been fantastic.

"With a lot of people being overwhelmed by Coronavirus news at the moment, I think the group is providing a balance of reiterating important information, while also giving people something to smile about and be inspired by," she said.

By facilitating acts of kindness and providing an outlet for positive thoughts and actions, the group is proving highly effective in bringing people together, despite the fact they may be isolated physically.

Find the group on Facebook by searching: "Love your Neighbour Fleurieu Peninsula: COVID-19 inspired local connections".