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Trying to be "careful while still neighbourly" was the name of the game for Grey Lynn residents on Dryden St, as they united in front-yard applause for at-risk essential workers.

Around 60 residents along the inner Auckland suburban street tonight took part in a New Zealand-wide initiative called "Clap for our Champions at 7pm".

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The aim is to have Kiwis stand in their "driveways, doorsteps, gardens, or your balconies etc and acknowledge our health workers, supermarket staff, truckers, port workers, waste collectors, all our essential workers including our Government for doing all they can to keep Kiwis safe!"

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The residents of Dryden St were particularly organised at the public show of appreciation for frontline workers, as they have set up a WhatsApp group to support each other during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Josh and Rachael McBride with their children Walt, 8, and Zoe, 5, on Dryden Street in Grey Lynn, who with their neighbours cheered for the health care workers. Photo: NZ Herald Brett Phibbs
Josh and Rachael McBride with their children Walt, 8, and Zoe, 5, on Dryden Street in Grey Lynn, who with their neighbours cheered for the health care workers. Photo: NZ Herald Brett Phibbs

Dryden St resident Rachel McBride set up the WhatsApp group and said the 7pm applause tonight was a comforting form or real-life connection.

"We basically just mobilised the Grey Lynn people not knowing it was a nationwide thing," McBride said having seen a flyer for it in the park.

"Everyone was doing it and it was good for the kids to go out and do something a bit fun.

A happy family with the pots and pans.
A happy family with the pots and pans.
Josh and Rachael McBride with their children Walt,8, and Zoe,5, take part in the Dryden Street neighbours in Grey Lynn, who cheered for the Health care workers. Photo: NZ Herald Brett Phibbs
Josh and Rachael McBride with their children Walt,8, and Zoe,5, take part in the Dryden Street neighbours in Grey Lynn, who cheered for the Health care workers. Photo: NZ Herald Brett Phibbs

"Across the road and in this street there are a few doctors who have been on that chat today and they are working obviously and seeing patients and all that stuff, so I think it probably brings it home even more.

"It's genuinely warm I think - not making it up. Grey Lynn is a great place anyway. It's quite a community place but you just feel warm and connected to people seeing them out there doing that while you're doing it as well."

McBride said the Dryden St WhatsApp group had already performed a few community support tasks.

"My husband and I and two of our neighbours, we set it up with a bit of a leaflet drop," McBride said.

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"Nicola's still got a printer at this stage, which is amazing, because we certainly don't have one here. So we printed it out and just used our networks to make sure we got most of the members.

Josh and Rachael McBride with their children Walt,8, and Zoe,5, take part in the Dryden Street neighbours in Grey Lynn, who cheered for the Health care workers. Photo: NZ Herald Brett Phibbs
Josh and Rachael McBride with their children Walt,8, and Zoe,5, take part in the Dryden Street neighbours in Grey Lynn, who cheered for the Health care workers. Photo: NZ Herald Brett Phibbs

"There are some people in our street who are struggling - some in temporary accommodation. We did do a food drive for those residents today through the WhatsApp.

"Everyone disinfected the food that they dropped off - we had some information from people in the street to do it, so we did."

A market gardener living in Dryden St has offered up all his produce for free to his neighbours on the WhatsApp group so it doesn't go to waste.

"There was a sweet little incident on there where someone had broken a drill bit: 'Does anyone have a drill bit size X' he asked. And then someone did and disinfected it and left it in their letter box. So we're trying to be very careful while still quite neighbourly as well," McBride said.

Josh and Rachael McBride with their children Walt,8, and Zoe,5, take part in the Dryden Street neighbours in Grey Lynn, who cheered for the Health care workers. Photo: NZ Herald Brett Phibbs
Josh and Rachael McBride with their children Walt,8, and Zoe,5, take part in the Dryden Street neighbours in Grey Lynn, who cheered for the Health care workers. Photo: NZ Herald Brett Phibbs

"Like I was saying to a neighbour today, you can live next door to each other but unless we're at the local school - so you know a lot of people - it's for people that are not.

"Even the groups of flatmates. They won't have any connection necessarily, especially if they don't own the houses. So it's community connection just to make sure people were all OK."

A Dryden St WhatsApp flyer.
A Dryden St WhatsApp flyer.
A Dryden St resident had an inventive way of applauding. Photo: NZ Herald Brett Phibbs
A Dryden St resident had an inventive way of applauding. Photo: NZ Herald Brett Phibbs
Josh and Rachael McBride with their children Walt,8, and Zoe,5, take part in the Dryden Street neighbours in Grey Lynn, who cheered for the Health care workers. Photo: NZ Herald Brett Phibbs
Josh and Rachael McBride with their children Walt,8, and Zoe,5, take part in the Dryden Street neighbours in Grey Lynn, who cheered for the Health care workers. Photo: NZ Herald Brett Phibbs

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website