The Co-op runs regular online studies of neighbourliness. In the third one, released in 21 April 2020, they found government measures requiring people to stay at home have led to a surge in neighbourliness as people look out for the vulnerable and talk to those next door more than ever before. They found that
Almost three quarters (72%) of UK adults now know which of their neighbours are classed as high risk and over a quarter (26%) have checked in on their neighbours in over last few weeks.
Over a fifth (21%) of UK adults who know at least some of their neighbours have spoken to them more in the last few weeks than they did previously.
Despite not being able to spend time physically with neighbours, almost a sixth (16%) of UK adults who know their neighbours say their relationship has become better in the last few weeks.
Highlighting the lengths people are going to in order to stay in touch, over two fifths (42%) of people who know their neighbours have spoken to them over a fence or a wall.
Almost a fifth (18%) say they have chatted online or over the phone to their neighbours in the last few weeks to see how they are or if they need any help and over a tenth (13%) have dropped off shopping or essential medicine for neighbours or others in their household.
The different ways people are keeping in touch with neighbours over the last few weeks:
- Almost half (46%) have spoken to their neighbours in the street at a distance
- Over two fifths (42%) have chatted to them over a fence or wall
- Over a quarter (28%) have waved at their neighbours through a window
- A quarter (26%) have checked to see if they, or anyone in their household needs anything
- 18% have spoken to them on the phone or online to see how they are or if they need any help
- 17% have spoken to them about the Government’s announcement to stay at home
- 12% have dropped off shopping for them or people in their household
- 4% have collected and dropped off essential medication for neighbours
Furthermore, the study shows technology is playing a huge part in keeping communities in contact. In the last few weeks alone, over a sixth (17%) of people who have contact details for their neighbours have received new contact details for their neighbours, ensuring they can keep in touch during this time.