New research shows being social with your neighbours, family and friends is just as important for your overall well-being as taking care of your physical health.
A recent study published in the international journal HEART, found that people who are socially isolated or lonely are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke compared to someone who has strong personal networks1.
Akida and Mohammad Rahman live in the Savana community in Wyndham Vale with their three children and say it was the sense of community and the new park that was a big drawcard when purchasing their home.
“We can come here with our neighbours and have a social gathering. It’s good for the kids as well as for socialisation with other people from my culture and the wider community. We have met some good friends and bring family here,” said Mrs Rahman.
“The park is very important for the local community to come and meet with each other, Savana is a very nice neighbourhood,” said Mr Rahman.
The developers behind the community and Bloomdale in Diggers Rest, AVID Property Group (AVID), say community meeting places are a fundamental design component of new communities in order to promote social interaction and wellbeing.
“We have created a variety of gathering spaces such as barbeque areas, play and gym equipment as well as green space for kids to kick a ball around,” said Peter Vlitas, General Manager Victoria at AVID
“These are essentially hubs where people can connect with their neighbours or friends for a chat.”
“The parks are also a central place for people in the wider Wyndham Vale and Diggers Rest communities to come together,” said Mr Vlitas.
With no financial cost associated to use the gym equipment, playground facilities or grassed areas, recreation is accessible to residents and community members from all socio-economic backgrounds.
Sheridan Thomas, Assistant Principal at Diggers Rest Primary School said teachers often take students to the Bloomdale parks for a chance to run around and get some fresh air.
“We believe that this is an important part of their development, as it encourages creativity, develops independence, builds social skills, as well as the numerous health benefits,” said Ms Thomas.
The parks are also used by local sporting groups including the Diggers Rest Football and Netball Club to promote physical fitness and good mental health. These shared amenities bring people together, strengthen social ties, help eliminate isolation and have a positive impact on mental health within the community.