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Millions of Brits don’t know neighbours’ names

July 29, 2015

  • Two in five Brits (40%) reveal they don’t know their neighbours’ names
  • 12% have never spoken to their neighbour
  • But 38% of Brits are involved in some type of community project
British neighbours do not necessarily make good friends, according to a survey of 3,000 Brits. Two in five admit they don’t know their neighbours’ names and 12% reveal they have never exchanged so much as one word with the person who lives next door to them.

The responses echo the findings of a survey issued by Neighbourhood Watch last year to mark the 50th anniversary of its network, in which it discovered that many Brits are so reserved that more than half confess they’ve actually hidden or delayed leaving home so they didn’t bump into their neighbours.

Hyperoptic, the UK’s leading Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband provider, commissioned the research to illustrate the benefits of improving relationships between neighbours and communities.

The findings outlined that detached and semi-detached residents seem to be friendlier than people who live in flats - 54% of detached and 51% of semi-detached residents talk to their neighbours at least once a week, compared to only 40% of their flat counterparts.

Despite not knowing their neighbours, over half (55%) of Brits claim they have leant their neighbour a hand in the last month, such as signing for a parcel. However, 12% of flat dwellers admit to never having helped a neighbour, compared to only 3% of detached and 2% of semi-detached residents.

Flat residents do top the list when it comes to helping their local community – nearly two in five (39%) are involved in some type of community project, followed by semi-detached residents (37%) and people who live in detached homes (36%).

Steve Holford, VP Product Marketing, Hyperoptic, comments: “It’s great news that so many Brits are getting involved with helping their local community, but it’s important to not to lose this mind-set when you get to your front door. Friendlier neighbourhoods aren’t just safer, they are stronger – there is power in numbers, you will find that you share many problems and by working together you can fix them more quickly.

“For example, we focus on connecting blocks of flats with the fastest broadband in the UK. We prioritise installation in buildings where there is greatest demand, so having a strong residents association or friendly residents that feel comfortable rallying their neighbours enables us to fast-track their building.”

David Stephens, Head of the Residents Association, The Odyssey: “We pride ourselves on having a strong residents’ association – we share many of the same issues so it makes sense for us to come together and use our collective buying power to fix them. One issue that we all shared was sluggish broadband; some people in the development were getting as low as half a megabit! We identified a solution with Hyperoptic and the install was expedited due to the number of our residents expressing interest. Everyone has benefitted from true fibre broadband and another great by-product is that it has made the flats far more marketable.”

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