Good Neighbor Stories

The Breakfast Club That’s Building Community in Berwick, Australia

Written by Caroline Barrett

All over the world neighbors are using Nextdoor to foster meaningful connections not just online, but in real life. While the world is currently feeling more disconnected than ever, every day we witness the power of neighbors, bringing people together and cultivating a kinder world where we all have neighbors we can rely on when times get tough. 

This holiday season, we encourage our members to reach out to those in their community who might be feeling lonely or may just need a friend, and Nextdoor member Delene from Berwick, Australia is the perfect example. After going through a difficult period in her life, Delene found herself feeling isolated and missing a strong sense of community. That was, until she learned about Nextdoor and decided to invite her neighbors to breakfast one morning. What started as one breakfast with neighbors quickly turned into a weekly breakfast club for the community. Now, every Sunday at 10:30 in the morning, people from many different nearby neighborhoods join Delene at The Two Men Restaurant in Berwick. The breakfast club, which was started specifically to combat loneliness, provides people with a safe place to get out of their homes and routine, and make new connections and friends. 

At Delene’s breakfast club, everyone’s invited. As many as 50 people from all ages, backgrounds and neighborhoods share a meal together and get the chance to engage in meaningful conversation. One of the unique things about Delene’s breakfast club is that she has a seat swap. In the middle of the breakfast she encourages neighbors to move around and sit next to someone that they may not know as well turning strangers into friends. 

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Delene (right) with Nextdoor CEO Sarah Friar

Most recently, not only have friendships been built at the breakfast club, but two neighbors have also found love. Nextdoor member Jeanette had been attending the breakfast club for months. One day, Delene invited Dave from a nearby neighbourhood of Narre Warren. The pair both arrived at breakfast in the hope of meeting other locals, having a laugh, and spending a Sunday morning with members of their community, but what happened next surprised them. 

Delene encouraged everyone to swap seats, mix and mingle, and the only person that Jeannette didn’t know was Dave. Jeanette introduced herself and the rest, as they say, was history! They started chatting for hours on end, which turned into six months of dating and now an engagement. 

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Dave and Jeanette

As Jeanette put it, “I totally understand how lonely life can be when people are stuck at home. Delene makes a huge effort to encourage people to simply get out of their comfort zone, toss on a jumper and come enjoy a friendly chat, a cuppa and even a breakfast with other friendly faces in a happy place.” 

Through her willingness and dedication to bring the community together, Delene has shown so many people what it means to feel truly supported and connected. It’s neighbors like Delene who help cultivate kind communities and sometimes even change people’s lives. 

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