Everybody needs good neighbours? Not in Leeds

A Generic photo of neighbours having a cup of tea. See PA Feature LIFESTYLE Neighbours.  PA Photo/Generic.
A Generic photo of neighbours having a cup of tea. See PA Feature LIFESTYLE Neighbours. PA Photo/Generic.
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CITY LIVING is leaving people in Leeds disconnected from people living closest to them, with just one in ten adults saying they given a spare key to a neighbour.

Researchers also found that just seven per cent of those questioned in Leeds had taken a meal to a neighbour when they are ill.

More than a third who have not given their neighbour a spare key said that they simply have not thought of doing so and nearly a quarter, 23 per cent said they do not know them well enough. Just seven per cent said their children have had play dates with other children who live nearby and 14 per cent had taken their neighbour’s children to school.

The survey was conducted by The Big Lunch, an initiative that encourages neighbours to get together on Sunday June 7.

Director of the Campaign to End Loneliness, Laura Alcock-Ferguson said: “Whilst isolation in rural areas is well known, people may not realise that living cheek by jowl in urban areas can lead to loneliness too. Living alone in later life can also leave you more vulnerable to feeling lonely.

“Getting to know your neighbours through fun events like the Big Lunch could be a good way of preventing your own, or other people’s loneliness.”

Encouragingly, researchers did find that almost a third of adults have had a cup of tea with a neighbours, while a fifth had gone to each other’s house for a meal or drinks.

Co-founder of The Big Lunch, Sir Tim Smith, said simply offering your neighbour a lift, or inviting them round for a cup of tea, can lead to lasting friendships.

Daughter inspires picnic

A MUM who experienced isolation following her daughter’s diagnosis with autism has organised a Big Lunch for parents in similar situations.

Amanda Craven, who is part of the Leeds Autism Behaviour and Communications Group will host a picnic at Temple Newsam on Sunday June 7.

Amanda, 49, of Armley, has an autistic daughter, Jasmine, 15, and has recently been diagnosed with autism herself. She said: “It can be isolating for autistic children and their parents. As a parent, I’ve always had to apologise for Jasmine’s behaviour and avoid places where we’d be judged. Here, no one will be judged.”

To find out more about setting up a Big Lunch click here.