Half of Cardiff residents don’t know their neighbours, survey reveals

March 11, 2013 No Comments »
Residents of Fir Street, Ferndale, were recently awarded the title of  the UK's Best Neighbours, but a quarter of Cardiff residents have never even met the people living next door.

Residents of Fir Street, Ferndale, were recently awarded the title of the UK’s Best Neighbours, but a quarter of Cardiff residents have never even met the people living next door.

One in four Cardiff residents have never knocked on their neighbour’s door, a new citywide survey has revealed.

More than half of householders surveyed in Cardiff said they did not know their neighbours well, while nearly 30% have no idea what their neighbours’ names are.

Only one in three people in Cardiff introduce themselves to a neighbour as soon as they move into a new community.

And most people who have managed to knock on their neighbour’s door only did so to collect a parcel.

City residents said a lack of time, shyness and concerns over not sharing anything in common prevented them from contacting their neighbours.

Experts described the survey results as “staggering” and urged the capital’s neighbourhoods to make a greater effort to create closer communities.

Sarah Morton, whose Valleys street has been identified as having the UK’s best neighbours, said she valued her close-knit community.

The 42-year-old, who has lived on Fir Street in Ferndale for over three years, said: “Our lives would not be as rich if we didn’t know our neighbours.

It’s all just about being helpful to each other. That’s what makes a good community.”

The Cardiff neighbourhood study found 22.5% of people in the city have never knocked on their neighbours’ doors.

More than a quarter Cardiff residents do not think they would have anything in common with their neighbours.

And over 20% said they never saw their neighbours to even say hello, with almost a quarter saying they were too busy.

Nearly 40% would not knock on their neighbour’s door because they were too shy to start a conversation, according to the survey.

However, over 30% of people in Cardiff who had knocked a neighbour’s door said they made a new friend, received help when in trouble or even started a new hobby.

Sir Tim Smit is the co-founder of The Big Lunch, which aims to encourage communities to sit down and have lunch together for one day a year following the success of the Queen’s Jubilee street parties last year.

He said: “There was a time when everyone was very friendly with the people living next door.

“But as time has gone on, this seems to be becoming rarer, and it’s a shame to see that there are many people in Cardiff who haven’t got the time or are too shy to get to know their neighbours.”

Fir Street in Ferndale was named the UK street with the best neighbours in November last year.

As well as social events such as fishing trips and day trips to London, there are annual bonfire, Halloween and Christmas parties. The street prides itself on neighbourly love, watching each other’s children while they play, signing for packages while friends are out and rallying together to collect money for good causes.

Behavioural expert Judi James said: “It’s staggering that over half of the people in Cardiff don’t know their neighbours, especially when we live in an era of crowded isolation, where we are often communicating with people via e-mail and text, at the same time as suffering feelings of loneliness.”

The Big Lunch will take place on June 2. For more information visit The Big Lunch website.

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