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Publication date:- 2016-11-10

PressRelease Headlines and reports on this page = 4 news items.    Page - 8.

Not so neighbourly nation - Are we ignoring the older generation?

33% of people in the North West have deliberately avoided their neighbours on at least one occasion, while 25% might not even recognise their neighbours if they bumped into them out of context, according to new research by Churchill Retirement Living.

In a sign that the nation is not as neighbourly as we used to be, 25% of adults in the region say they have argued with their neighbours, with the most common disagreements caused by:- loud music, unruly kids, noisy pets, boundary issues and car parking.

The survey also found that older people want to be far more neighbourly than their younger counterparts, with 90% of over 55's who don't know their neighbours saying they would like to get to know them better, compared with just 71% of 18 to 24 year olds. And less than half of 18 to 24 year olds said they exchange Christmas cards with those living next door to them, compared with 8 in 10 of the over 55's.

Despite the worrying trend, 8 in 10 of all those surveyed think people should do more to get to know their neighbours, with three quarters thinking it is important to get on well with them. However, less than a third of people said they would ever consider inviting their neighbours around for a meal or social gathering.

The research of 2,000 UK adults was commissioned by retirement house builder Churchill Retirement Living to find out more about people's attitudes towards those living around them, in particular the older generation.

Of those surveyed, 45% have elderly neighbours, with 25% of those anxious they might get lonely. 20% of those polled say they have been concerned for their neighbours at some point, with health problems, age and loneliness the most common worries.

Dame Esther Rantzen DBE, Churchill Ambassador and founder of The Silver Line, said:- ?We have a huge loneliness epidemic in this country, and looking out for those next door to us can be a big step towards curing it especially if they are older people who might be feeling isolated or not as active as they used to be. Although it's a sad fact of life that not everyone gets on with their neighbours all the time, it's also encouraging to see that most of us can still see the value of getting to know our neighbours better. I have personally witnessed the benefits a strong sense of community can bring, and we can all do something to make that difference to the people who live around us.?

The research also found:-

► Only ? of respondents think there is a sense of community in their neighbourhood.

► 6 in 10 respondents would rather their neighbours kept themselves to themselves.

► 72% have never had their neighbour over for dinner or any other type of gathering.

► The average Brit knows 6 of their neighbours by name, but this increases to 7 among those aged 55 and over, and it falls to 4, among those aged 34 and under.

► 14% don't even know what their neighbour's name is.

► Over a 5th of people have forgotten a neighbour's name, but found it too awkward to ask them what it is.

► Around ? of Brits described their relationship with their neighbours as... "neutral," neither friendly nor unfriendly.

► Less than a 5th of Brits are friends with their neighbours on social media.

Spencer McCarthy, Churchill Retirement Living's Chairman & CEO, said:- "It's perhaps no surprise that the older generation are more inclined to be friendly towards their neighbours and value a strong sense of community. I've witnessed this at our retirement living developments, where we bring good neighbours together to share a more sociable and fulfilling lifestyle in their retirement. But there is hope yet for the younger generation too. We all have busy lives, but we can all take small actions that make a difference to the people living around us. The evidence from our research suggests that there are plenty of people of all ages willing to embrace that and be better neighbours."

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