Know your neighbour then and now
February 10, 2016

Avoid thy Neighbour?

Which of the images best depicts your relationship with your neighbour?
We may have started to shop like our nan, but some things have definitely changed. According to our recent research 43% of Brits admit they have not spoken a word to their neighbours in the last week – and some have never uttered a word to them. Is this now part of being British?

The days of chatting over the fence and taking time to get to know the people next door appear to belong to a bygone age for some Brits. Despite nearly half of us knowing that we have a neighbour that lives alone, it seems there are plenty of reasons not to start a conversation including fear of causing offence (57%) and feeling uncomfortable because they see people as ‘preferring to keep themselves to themselves’.

However our survey also found that over half the population (55 percent) stated that they regularly experience feelings of loneliness. We’re working with the British Red Cross to tackle the causes of loneliness and isolation in the UK. Follow our #campaigningcoop hashtag on Twitter to keep up to date with what we’re doing.

Richard Pennycook, the Co-op’s Group Chief Executive said: “A reluctance for many of us to make conversation with our neighbours is one element of modern life that compounds a feeling of loneliness and isolation in people. Busy lives often mean we sometimes don’t always make the time to stop and talk. A quick ‘hello how are you?’ or just a smile might make a difference to someone’s day. It’s within our gift to make that happen.”

What would encourage you to speak to your neighbours more?

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