Scots no longer know their neighbours

Jo brand and ainsley harriott enjoy the big lunch

Jo Brand and Ainsley Harriott enjoy The Big Lunch

Research by The Big Lunch has shown Scots no longer feel connected to those that live nearby

6th March 2019 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Nattering among neighbours is a thing of the past – new research by a charity has shown.

It seems that making friends on the doorstep may now be a thing of the past in the region as 41% of Scots don’t know our neighbours’ names and only 28% would knock on a new neighbour’s door to welcome them to the neighbourhood.

In a poll of 4,000 people undertaken by The Big Lunch, almost three quarters of all respondents in Scotland (72%) felt that people were closer to their neighbours 20 years ago than they are today.

It showed nearly three quarters (71%) of the population don’t feel they know their neighbours well.

But despite a lack of community chatter, there is a strong appetite for getting to know our neighbours better. Seven in 10 Scots think it is better for communities if we know our neighbours and 61% would accept if a neighbour invited them round for tea.

The Big Lunch is the UK’s largest annual get-together for neighbours, an idea from the Eden Project made possible by the National Lottery, with communities getting together to share a meal.

Comedian Jo Brand, ambassador of The Big Lunch, is backing the charity’s bid to bring communities together.

She said: “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.

“It saddens me to think that one in five of us don’t feel we could call on a neighbour if we needed help. It’s such a shame that so many people don’t even know the people they live closest to.

“The Big Lunch is the perfect way to address this. Every year millions of people get together to share food, have fun and get to know each other better. I went to my first one last year - a street party with a real mix of people chatting, eating and just getting to know each other better.”

Last year, six million people took part in over 68,500 Big Lunch events. This summer it’s getting even bigger and is being turned into a two-day event, June 1-2.

Peter Stewart of the Eden Project is delighted with the UK’s response to The Big Lunch.

He said: “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.  We’re thrilled to see so many people across the UK joining in and having fun as we know The Big Lunch is just a spark that helps to build happier and more resilient communities where people know one another and neighbourhoods thrive.”