- Nearly one in ten (6%) people in Wales couldn't identify a single neighbour
- People in Wales have a stronger sense of belonging to their workplace, nation and country than to their own neighbourhood
A new study commissioned by Eden Project Communities for The Big Lunch, the largest gathering of neighbours in the UK, reveals the strength of people's relationships with their neighbours in Wales, finding that 8 out of 10 people (84 per cent) couldn't identify all their neighbours in a police line-up and that many people have a stronger sense of belonging to their workplace that the street they live on.
Nearly one in ten (6 per cent) people in Wales couldn't identify a single neighbour, whereas people in Northern Ireland are most likely to know their neighbours with just 2 per cent saying they couldn't identify a single one.
The poll of more than 4,000 UK adults showed that people in Wales have the strongest sense of belonging to their country (60 per cent), to the nation of Wales (58%) and their town (59 per cent) more than their strength of belonging to their own neighbourood (43 per cent).
Wales' workers feel a stronger sense of belonging towards their workplace (67 per cent), their region and town (both 58 per cent) than they do towards their own neighbourhood (39 per cent).
People living in Northern Ireland and Scotland have the strongest sense of belonging to their neighbourhoods, compared with those living in England and Wales. Conversely people living in England have the strongest sense of belonging to the UK nation, followed by Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland*.
Yorkshire and the Humber has the strongest sense of belonging (68 per cent) than any other region in the UK. Yorkshire is closely followed by those in Scotland (66 per cent), Wales (63 per cent) and Northern Ireland (60 per cent). Adults in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all feel a stronger sense of identity to their county or region than to the UK nation.
The Big Lunch - an idea from the Eden Project made possible by the National Lottery - will be held this year on Sunday 3 June, aiming to beat last year's record involvement of 9.3 million people across the UK. The annual event encourages people to get together with others in their neighbourhoods to share food and fun. Research conducted by the Eden Project last year found that 76 per cent of people that joined a Big Lunch felt closer to their neighbours as a result, with 79 per cent socialising more with people in their community*.
Lowri Jenkins, Wales spokesperson for The Big Lunch commented: "The research shows how much potential there is for people living in Wales to get to know their neighbours better, replacing anonymous neighbourhoods with closer ties and stronger communities. The Big Lunch is about bringing people together across Wales to share food, to make new friends and to have fun. This year, on Sunday 3 June, each and every single person in Wales is invited to join their neighbours at a Big Lunch. Whether sharing a cup of tea with just one person, or a small gathering around a table to share some food, anyone can get together with people that live on their doorstep to form new connections."
Dawn Austwick, CEO of the Big Lottery Fund, said: "The Big Lunch is a really special annual event which creates new friends and closer neighbours. It has grown at an incredible pace, with 9.3 million people joining in last year. This research highlights the need for such initiatives, which help to build bonds and create happier and more resilient communities. When people come together great things can happen - for them, their wider community and ultimately for us all. This is why we're delighted to be able to back this bright idea with money raised by National Lottery players."
Ainsley Harriott, Celebrity Chef and Big Lunch Ambassador, said: "It's no secret that I love food. I love preparing it, cooking it and serving it. But the thing I love most about food is sharing it. This research shows just how important it is that we reach out to our neighbours and there's no better way to do this than through food. You don't need to be a gourmet chef to host a Big Lunch, just rustle up some simple snacks and invite the neighbours round."
About the research
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 4,253 adults and 2,409 working adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 26 - 28 February 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
*People living in Northern Ireland and Scotland (54 per cent) have the strongest sense of belonging to their neighbourhoods, compared with 48 per cent in England and 45 per cent in Wales. Conversely people living in England have the strongest sense of belonging to the UK nation, (59 per cent) followed by Wales (58 per cent), Scotland (48 per cent) and Northern Ireland (43 per cent).
*Annual research conducted by Havas.