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
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
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
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
The research also found:-
► Only ? of respondents think there is a sense of community in their
► 6 in 10 respondents would rather their neighbours kept themselves to
► 72% have never had their neighbour over for dinner or any other type of
► 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."