From neighbours to friends

Deepti Alurkar is cooking free meals for those in need. Photo by Damjan Janevski. 211791_02

Tate Papworth

Taylors Hill resident Deepti Alurkar knows what it’s like to feel isolated.

With that feeling hitting her hard, Ms Alurkar has made a point of offering ways for the community to come together over the years.

“A few years back, I felt isolated and depressed,“ she said.

“I had a toddler in house and no one to talk to, so I put a post on Facebook asking if people would be interested in a dance club.

“I got lots of responses and started teaching mums each fortnight… it’s got over 500 people now.“

Ms Alurkar began with dance, but like so many things, has evolved with COVID-19.

“With COVID-19 I came across lots of people struggling.

“There’s job cuts, industries closing and it can be hard for people to seek help at times.

“So I thought I’d go about organising free meals for people in the community.“

Ms Alurkar signed up to Nextdoor, an application designed as a way for people to communicate with their neighbourhood.

“The application has been great… I didn’t know a lot of people in the area prior to this and now I’d consider many as friend,“ she said.

“Each week I use the app and prepare nice healthy meals for those who are interested. The delivery is all contactless, but through the app we’re able to chat about how things are going.“

“We’re preparing about 30 meals a week, it’s been great to be able to offer a level of support.“