Community is the vital lifeblood of the UK. Having neighbours that you can turn to, whether that’s to take in a parcel, borrow some milk or just for a chat, is so important. We all want to feel part of a community and know that someone is there to help a hand.

As we begin our call to join us and our new membership, which sees 1% of members’ spend on Co-op products and services going back to their local community, we asked 2,000 adults across the UK how neighbourly their community felt.

45sAccording to our research, on average we can call on 2.6 neighbours for help and a parcel delivery is now far and away the main reason someone would call on the person next door for a favour. One in four over 45’s do not have a neighbour they can call on for a favour and almost a quarter (23.3 per cent) of over 45’s claim to have no one living nearby who they can turn to for help. That figure falls to one in six (16.8 per cent) for those under 35.

On average and across all ages, when asked how many neighbours they could depend on for a favour 21.3 per cent said they have no one.


Southampton is the most isolated place with 32 per cent of people saying they have no neighbours to drop in on.

Sheffield is the community capital of the UK where three in four (75 per cent) respondents would be happy to call on up to five people to request a good turn.


The top ten neighbourly cities, as measured by where people are comfortable with asking one to five neighbours for a favour, are:

  1. Sheffield
  2. Norwich
  3. Nottingham
  4. Edinburgh
  5. Birmingham
  6. Manchester
  7. Bristol
  8. London
  9. Leeds
  10. Newcastle

This research shows that we have much to do to improve our neighbourly spirit and foster that sense of community. The Co-op is back and our members and our communities are once again at the heart of all we do so join us and let’s forge stronger communities together.

Rufus Olins
Chief Membership Officer

Join the conversation! 7 Comments

  1. My neighbour is a racist mofo.

    I’m not about to be neighbourly as I’m trying to get an CBO against him.

  2. I think the loneliest I’ve ever felt was during a time when I was the so called ‘life & soul’ of the party. Being alone doesn’t always equal loneliness.

  3. Glad that Newcastle features in the top 10 cities for neighbourliness! I’m surprised it’s not higher up the table, but maybe our local impression of Geordie friendliness sits alongside the hidden experience of loneliness?

    Some Newcastle voluntary groups and neighbourhoods do work quite hard at keeping in touch with residents, promoting neighbourliness. My terraced street flat is part if a 12 property housing co-op in which all the tenant-members know each other, so we all know that we can always call on other members to help if needed. Sadly, housing co-ops are quite rare, and we have a lot of people locally who get their housing via private landlords who, with notable few exceptions, take little interest in their tenants’ welfare.

    But we are fortunate in having an environmental initiative called Greening Wingrove, supported by the Co-op initially, that focussed on cultivating neighbourliness in order to build resilience as a way of dealing with the impacts of climate change – eg episodes of extreme heat or cold – on vulnerable people. Everything we do from litter picks to door knocking, vertical veg growing to revitalising the local park and tree planting, and more, brings people together in a common aim to make our difficult area greener and cleaner.

  4. Lonliness is not recognised, until it is being experienced. We can be amongst others, yet alone, that is not good for your well being, trust me xx


Leave a Reply


#TacklingLoneliness with British Red Cross, Campaigning