City living sees adults fractured from their neighbours

One in ten people in Leeds have not left a spare key with a neighbour.''''Picture Rui Vieira/PA Wire
One in ten people in Leeds have not left a spare key with a neighbour.''''Picture Rui Vieira/PA Wire
Have your say

CITY LIVING is leaving people in Yorkshire’s biggest city disconnected from their neighbours, with just one in ten adults in Leeds saying they given a spare key to a neighbour.

Researchers looking at how people get on with those who live closest to them 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 of people in Leeds, 35 per cent, 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 led by Cornwall’s Eden Project that encourages neighbours to get together on Sunday June 7.

Laura Alcock-Ferguson, director of the Campaign to End Loneliness, partners in The Yorkshire Post’s Loneliness: The Hidden Epidemic campaign, 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.

Events will be taking place across Yorkshire on June 7, including at Temple Newsam in Leeds, where Leeds Autism Behaviour and Communications Group (ABC), will host a picnic.

Organiser Amanda Craven experienced isolation following her daughter’s diagnosis with autism.

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. This is an event where no one will be judged.”