There was some interesting research that came out today that caused a few headlines and again raised the issue around community cohesion in the UK.
A national barometer released today ranks Britain’s biggest cities against five different objective measures of ‘neighbourliness’ – consideration, tolerance, friendliness, tidiness and vigilance. You can read a bit more detail on the findings from the coverage here, here, here and here. So it seems if you’re looking for a considerate neighbour, Bradford is the place to be! And with a road in the area even called “Friendly Street“, It’s not really any surprise!
Remember you can take a look at our ever growing number of lunches on our interactive map to see how your area is doing and if the survey findings reflect the number of neighbourly lunches planned for the 18th July in your area.
Even if you don’t fancy organising a lunch yourself, register your interest on our site so that others know there is real appetite in your area to come together on the 18th July.
Do you know your neighbour? The answer to this question is probably no!
Today we’re launching research that reveals only one in five know their neighbours well. One in ten claim to be too shy to even say hello and exchange pleasantries with the people next door. However, 95% believe knowing their neighbour could have a positive impact on their community.
Nearly one in ten of the population have absolutely no idea who even lives next door, with more than half the nation (51%) admitting they should make more of an effort to get to know their neighbours.
Identifying the main reasons behind the lack of contact between neighbours, The Big Lunch research has revealed the most common factors as:
Nearly 25% of Chelmsford residents stated shyness as the main reason behind them not knowing their neighbours, the highest level in the country*1. A quarter of Gloucester residents claim that being too busy is the main factor for their lack of neighbourliness, closely followed by the residents of Oxford (22%), perhaps surprisingly the inhabitants of a usually busy London are down the list*2 in seventh.
In order to build stronger neighbourhood relationships, The Big Lunch, led by the Eden Project, aims to encourage as many people as possible to sit down together with their neighbours for lunch on Sunday 18th July in a simple act of community.
More than two thirds of the nation wish there was more community spirit in their area and 54% of the population claim they would feel safer in their home knowing that their neighbours were looking out for them.
Despite common traits such as shyness and being too busy, an encouraging 63% would consider an event or get-together to encourage their neighbours to get to know each other.
Of those people who do know their neighbours, 58% say they got to know them by chatting over the garden fence, proving a good old-fashioned gossip remains the nation’s favourite way of breaking the ice.
The research also found that the residents of Wolverhampton and Aberdeen are the most neighbourly, with more than 10% claiming to be practically best friends with their neighbours, twice as many as the national average (5%). However York and Southampton could work harder at getting to know those next door with 15% and 12% of residents respectively not having contact with anyone in their community.
Peter Stewart, our Campaigns and Communications Director, said: “What has come through strongly is that we would like to know our neighbours better. It is just that we are often just to0 shy or too busy to break the ice.
“It’s great to see that so many people (82%) think sharing food and drink is the best way to come together and meet new people in their street. The Big Lunch gives the nation the perfect excuse to take a simple step towards knowing their neighbours and have a great time too.”
Here is the full breakdown of the results. Is your town or city in the top ten?
*1Top ten shyest cities
1. Chelmsford (24%)
2. Cambridge (22%)
3. Plymouth (23%)
4. Coventry (18%)
5. Portsmouth (18%)
6. Liverpool (17%)
7. Cardiff (16%)
8. Edinburgh (15%)
9. Birmingham (15%)
10. Oxford (15%)
*2Top ten cities too busy to know their neighbours
1. Gloucester (25%)
2. Oxford (22%)
3. Sheffield (18%)
4. Newcastle (18%)
5. Chelmsford (18%)
6. Leeds (17%)
7. London (17%)
8. Liverpool (17%)
9. Edinburgh (15%)
10. Birmingham (15%)
How well does the nation know their neighbours?
22% – Really well, they speak all the time and they’re best friends
71% – Say hello but rarely speak to their neighbours. They hardly know them
7% – Do not know their neighbours at all
Top ten cities with the highest percentage of residents claiming to be best friends with their neighbours
1. Aberdeen (10.64%)
1. Wolverhampton (10.64%)
3. Belfast (9.62%)
4. Chelmsford (8%)
5. London (7.5%)
6. Birmingham (7.1%)
7. Coventry (6.78%)
8. Cambridge (6.59%)
9. Manchester (6.62%)
10. Newcastle (6.54%)
Top ten cities gaining the highest percentage of residents who claim not to know any of their neighbours
1. York (15.56%)
2. Southampton (12.79%)
3. Aberdeen (12.77%)
4. Coventry (11.86%)
5. Leicester (11.3%)
6. Norwich (9.52%)
7. Manchester (9.19%)
8. Bristol (8.82%)
9. Cambridge (8.79%)
10. Leeds (7.96%)
All we can say is bring on July 18th!
This year we’ve teamed up with Dinner4Good, an online charity fundraising system, so you can hold your Big Lunch in aid of a good cause.
Lots of people don’t want to run a marathon or sit in a tub of baked beans, so holding a Big Lunch with your local community is a great way to raise funds for your favourite charity.
Using Dinner4Good.com means that you can choose any charity that’s registered with the Charity Commission – there are 170,000 organisations so they cover pretty much every conceivable good cause! The Dinner4Good website sends out nice email invitations so that everyone gets a reminder about the date for The Big Lunch and it’s really easy for people to reply… so you can keep a tally of how many people will be coming.
Here’s how it works:
- Get together with the other people who might want to organise or come to your Big Lunch… and decide on the name or type of charity you’d like to support. It could be a charity that works close to your neighbourhood or one that means something special to your community
- Then go to the Dinner4Good site and click on Host a Dinner Party. The simple instructions guide you through selecting the charity you want to support and then sending the email invitations to the people in your area (you’ll need their email addresses of course, so it’s a good idea to ask for it when you next see them)
We’re really pleased to be working with the Dinner4Good team because it gives everyone a great opportunity to have a lunch together and do something for a good cause at the same time… great!
If you’re here, you may already know a little about The Big Lunch…
In case you don’t, The Big Lunch is a party in your street, in everyone’s street, on Sunday 18 July 2010.
All 61 million people across the UK are invited to sit down to eat lunch with their neighbours, in the middle of their street as a simple act of community.
An Eden Project initiative, The Big Lunch encourages communities to come together through growing food and flowers; creating street music, art and theatre; dressing the street and, of course, cooking and eating together. Last year, the first ever Big Lunch, saw up to a million people taking part in over 8,000 lunches all over the UK.
The Big Lunch team is looking for campaign interns to work in The Big Lunch offices in central London. The internship would be until the end of July and expenses (£6 per day) will be paid.
Interns will gain invaluable experience of working on a national campaign and communicating with different audiences. Specific responsibilities would include working with NGO partner organisations and local government, encouraging promotion of The Big Lunch to their staff, stakeholders and communities, and advising them how to do so. Interns may also be asked to help with public enquiries.
We are looking for someone who:
This is superb experience for someone interested in marketing and communications and offers the opportunity to become part of a small team that is delivering a fantastically exciting and worthwhile national initiative.
Please indicate when you would be available to work in your application.
To apply, please email your CV and covering letter to email@example.com
We regret that we will only be able to respond to shortlisted applicants.
Closing date: 12th April 2010
And a very good afternoon to you from everyone on this year’s Big Lunch online team.
It’s been a while since we last posted on here and we’re really excited to be back.
This year, we’re determined, with your help of course, to make 2010’s Big Lunch bigger, better and more impactful than ever before. After all, the Big Lunch is all about you and your community. Not us and this website.
This year we’ve added a few new bells and whistles to the site and as you can see, given it a bit of a face lift too! So let’s start at the beginning; registration. We’ve made it even easier to register your Big Lunch on the site. We’ve now integrated the big social network behemoth(!) that is Facebook into the process- but fear not if you don’t have a Face-whatsit account, you’ll still be able to register as normal with just your email address; the same as last year. Here’s the link to the Big Lunch registration page.
Since there are so many of you on Facebook, we wanted to make it as easy as possible for you to create an event and tell others about the Big Lunch. You’ll also notice our brand spanking new and improved Google map. This will help you find a lunch or spot the opportunity to start one in your area by simply punching in your postcode. We want to see this map covered in TBL flags by 18th July!
So what else is new? Well, we’ll be regularly updating our Facebook and twitter feed to keep you all in the loop on the latest news and we’ll also be posting up loads more content and competitions this year. Don’t forget there are loads of resources on the site this year too.
We also want to hear from you! All you 2009 ‘veterans’(!); are you planning another lunch? Have you got ideas you want to share with us and others- hints, tips, tricks that you think others will find useful? We’re on the hunt for people who want to document their Big Lunch experience online, so let us know if you’re interested or know anyone who would be!!
Ok, well that’s all for now, we’ll be in touch throughout the week and beyond and if you have any ideas of what you’d like us to share on this site over the coming months, please get in touch via phone on 0845 850 8181, email firstname.lastname@example.org ; twitter or of course Facebook…
Have a great Easter!
The Big Lunch online team