We’re no longer a nation of nattering neighbours!

Nattering with the neighbours is a thing of the past according to a new survey out today which reveals half of the population hasn’t chatted over the garden fence or outside their homes in at least a month and nearly 1 in 5 has never spoken to their neighbours at all.

It seems that making friends on the doorstep may now be a thing of the past as 40% of us don’t know our neighbours’ names and only 29% would knock on a new neighbour’s door to welcome them to the neighbourhood. Nearly three quarters (72%) of the population don’t feel they know their neighbours well. 

In a poll of 4,000 people undertaken by The Big Lunch, three quarters of all respondents (76%) felt that people were closer to their neighbours 20 years ago than they are today.

Key findings from the report included:

  • 1 in 5 of us has never spoken to our neighbours
  • Almost three quarters of us wouldn’t introduce ourselves to a new neighbour or aren’t sure we’d even bother to say hello
  • 40% of us don’t know our neighbours names
  • 1 in 5 of us don’t feel we could call on anyone in our neighbourhood for help
  • Half the population hasn’t chatted with a neighbour in the last month

But despite a lack of community chatter, there is a strong appetite for getting to know our neighbours better. Over three quarters (76%) of the population think it is better for communities if we know our neighbours and nearly two thirds of the population would say ‘yes’ if a neighbour invited them round for a cuppa.

This is reassuring news for comedian Jo Brand, Ambassador of The Big Lunch. “At a time when the country feels so divided and disconnected, it seems more important than ever to come together and remember the importance of community spirit. I went to my first one {Big Lunch} last year - a street party with a real mix of people chatting, eating and just getting to know each other better.

That’s what neighbourhoods should be about. Lots of vulnerable members of our society can go weeks without seeing or talking to another person, so anything that encourages a bit of human contact gets a thumbs up from me… and a double thumbs up if it involves cake!“

Peter Stewart of the Eden Project is delighted with the UK’s response to The Big Lunch, he says: “Every year it keeps getting bigger as more and more people realise the importance of community and the benefit of knowing their neighbours. We know that when people come together good things happen and that is what The Big Lunch is all about.”

To commemorate 10 years of The Big Lunch, a major new research report has been commissioned - ‘Closing the Distance Between Us.' You can read more and download the report here. You can also get involved and sign up for your FREE Big Lunch pack here!