Lockdown loosens Brits stiff upper lip as neighbourly natters double

New figures shows we have become a nation of helpful, chatty neighbours!

This time last year, a survey revealed that 1 in 5 of us had no-one in our community that we could call on, but since lockdown measures were introduced, over 15 million people across the UK have helped a neighbour.

In a recent poll of 4,000 people, figures show that more than 60 per cent of the population has chatted with a neighbour in the last week, up from just 30 per cent in 2019. As neighbourly nattering has doubled, a whopping eight million people have spoken to someone in their community that they didn’t know before the pandemic hit.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll for The Big Lunch, a National Lottery supported initiative, reveals we have become better connected in lockdown with almost 70 per cent saying people in their community are more likely to stop and chat now. There is a growing appetite for this to continue with three quarters of the population hoping the new sense of community spirit continues once lockdown measures are lifted.

The findings come as no surprise to Dawn Austwick, CEO of The National Lottery Community Fund. She says:

“The kindness, support, and resilience of our communities have always been there, but it is in times of crisis that these come to the fore. Now, more than ever, COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of our communities and the strength that comes from neighbourly ties – 15 million people helping a neighbour during lockdown is a testament to those ties. Thanks to National Lottery players, The Big Virtual Lunch is helping people to come together safely and to continue to build bonds and connections that will last long after the crisis has ended.”

The Big Lunch, an idea from the Eden Project, made possible by The National Lottery, usually attracts millions of people across the UK. Last year over 6 million people took part in 100,000 Big Lunch events. This summer for the first time in its 10 year history, The Big Lunch will become The Big ‘Virtual’ Lunch, with events running online, on the phone and on the doorstep from 6-7 June.

Peter Stewart, Executive Director of the Eden Project says:

“Our survey shows that even though the UK is going through the toughest challenge we’ve ever seen, the human response has been fantastic and our community spirit remains strong. The Big ‘Virtual’ Lunch is inviting neighbours and communities to celebrate community connections and say thanks to one another in a small act of community, friendship and fun. This could be street zoom lunches, community phone trees or an agreed time that everyone will raise a cup on their doorstep. Simple, small steps that will help us all still feel connected which is what The Big Lunch has always been about.”

Join The Big ‘Virtual’ Lunch online, on the phone or on your doorstep on 6-7 June and find out more!