While social media is shortening the distances between friends, new research has suggested the distance between neighbours may be growing bigger than ever before.
A survey of 2000 people commissioned by “social network for your neighbourhood” Nextdoor suggested 60% of people don’t know their neighbours well or at all.
Two-thirds wouldn’t leave a spare key with neighbours.
Some 75% wouldn’t trust them a pet while we jetted away on holiday, and 63% have never even borrowed a cup of sugar, ketchup, or any other condiment.
What would our grannies say?
We understand maintaining a neighbourly spirit can sometimes be a challenge for any number of reasons, but we believe fostering a ‘going the extra mile’ attitude can lead to happier, healthier lives.
While Greenbelt always aims to provide the best quality of service to our customers, it is residents who are at the heart of our communities – and it is residents who are best placed to make a difference to them.
For instance, there’s just no way we can monitor open spaces and play areas against anti-social behaviour around the clock – and that’s where connecting the community really can make a difference.
When neighbours stand together, they can help the police by highlighting to them issues such as vandalism, littering and fly tipping, working together to stamp it out.
By taking charge and working together the costs associated with anti-social behaviour are also massively reduced, meaning there’s more to spend on constructive community spaces, such as play areas.
There really is strength in numbers and beyond just improving things on the surface, forming deep, personal bonds with those around us can help us plan for the future, reach out a hand to those who feel isolated and bring us together for the benefit of everyone.
There is a collective responsibility on everyone to make sure our communities are clean, safe and inclusive – and we’re not the only ones who think that way.
Max Chambers is a former parliamentary advisor and the Director of Communications at Nextdoor, and he wants everyone in Britain to share a cuppa with one of their neighbours in August.
He also hopes to get support from the government to create a national Good Neighbours Day in 2018.
Like Max, Greenbelt can help communities make connections with one another.
We’re specialists in direct customer liaison and we’ve been very busy helping happy communities set up Residents’ Associations.
Why not take a look at our free Greenbelt Guide to setting up your own Residents’ Association here?