We are told to ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself’ but what if you have no idea who your next-door neighbour is? Having to remain indoors while social distancing during the pandemic means getting creative when communicating with family and friends, such as via video calling apps. However, it is also the perfect opportunity to get to know the person or people who live in the home next to you, considering you are both likely to be there more often than usual. If your paths didn’t cross before due to the hustle and bustle of everyday life, they are bound to have done so during lockdown…
DIY home installation website, Internal Wall Panels, conducted a survey of 3,000 Brits to find out how many only had their first interaction with their neighbour during lockdown period. It seems staying home has had a positive influence on neighbourly relationships in Yorkshire, as almost 1 in 3 (30%) here admit the first time they met their neighbour was during lockdown!
Broken down across the country, this figure was lowest in the East Midlands with just 23% of residents saying they met their neighbour for the first time during lockdown. Comparatively, this figure was highest in London with 45% of people admitting lockdown was the first time they met their neighbour.
A friend in need… While lockdown appears to have improved our communication with our loved ones – and neighbours – there is no doubt about the economic challenges many are facing during this time. In fact, between March and June, the number of UK employees on payrolls decreased by 649,000*. However, it seems we are a country full of good Samaritans as over 1 in 3 Brits (39%) say they would lend money to a neighbour who was struggling financially. Additionally, the average Brit revealed they would lend their neighbour in need a significant £514.80.
Conversely, the survey also found that over 1 in 10 (13%) respondents say they would, in fact, reach out to their neighbour for financial help in desperate times.
A promising, heart-warming statistic to emerge from this study was that a majority of Brits are even generous enough to house a neighbour in need – 60% say they would volunteer to temporarily house their neighbour if they had nowhere else to stay.
‘Despite being physically separated from our loved ones, a sense of community support is more important now than ever, which includes being there for your next-door neighbour in times of need,’ says a spokesperson for Internal Wall Panels. ‘Having the support of a friendly neighbour can be extremely helpful in trying circumstances.’