New research has revealed as many as three quarters of Brits (70 percent) insist neighbourly spirit is alive and well in Britain, with their community closer than ever before.


In fact, four in ten (40 percent) think the cost-of-living crisis has helped bring their community together, while a further 70 percent say they have grown closer, due to the challenges of the last few years.


And the survey*, carried out by retirement community, McCarthy Stone, has revealed a definitive list of signs of a good neighbour, with lending milk or sugar (35 percent), pet sitting (24 percent), bringing food when you’re sick (20 percent) and always saying hello (70 percent) making the list.


Checking your home when you’re on holiday (60 percent), signing for deliveries (55 percent) and alerting you to potential security issues in the area (43 percent), came high on the list.


While more modern signs include making a WhatsApp group for your street (14 percent) and sharing Netflix passwords (five percent), according to the poll of 2,000.


Overall, three quarters (73 percent) say they are friends with their neighbours, with one in three (30 percent) describing their neighbour as one of their best friends.


Brits chat to their next-door-neighbours on average 10 times per week, talking about the weather (57 percent), local news (50 percent), family life (41 percent), security (28 percent) and work (25 percent).


But despite 37 percent believing a good neighbour checks on elderly relatives, three quarters (75 percent) still worry about older people in their community.


A spokesperson for McCarthy Stone, which commissioned the poll to coincide with the launch of its new affordable shared ownership offering to help more older people to experience the benefits of Retirement Living, commented: “This research shows that Brits are rallying around their neighbours and sticking together.”


“Companionship and a sense of connection is incredibly important to our mental wellbeing at any age, but especially for older people who may be living on their own, or less mobile than they once were. This is exactly why we wanted to make our retirement communities more accessible to more of the nation’s retirees, through our affordable shared ownership scheme”.


Edinburgh (84 percent), Bristol (84 percent), Glasgow (79 percent) and Stoke-on-Trent (79 percent) were named as the friendliest places to live.




  1. Always saying hello – 70%
  2. Checking your home when you’re on holiday – 60%
  3. Signing for your deliveries if you’re not in – 55%
  4. Alerting you to potential security issues in the neighbourhood – 43%
  5. Bringing your bins in once they’ve been emptied – 39%
  6. Helping you jump start your car – 38%
  7. Checking on elderly neighbours in bad weather – 37%
  8. Lending milk or sugar when you’ve run out – 35%
  9. Pre-warning you about any noisy DIY work – 34%
  10. Watering your garden, while watering theirs – 33%
  11. Pre-warning you about a house party – 32%
  12. Putting the bins out for you on bin day – 28%
  13. Inviting you round for tea and cake – 25%
  14. Pet-sitting – 24%
  15. Bringing food when you are sick – 20%
  16. Lending tools for DIY or gardening – 20%
  17. Inviting you round for a glass of wine – 19%
  18. Making a WhatsApp group for the street – 14%
  19. Walking your dog – 11%
  20. Babysitting your children – 8%
  21. Helping you wash your car – 5%
  22. Offering financial advice – 5%
  23. Offering relationship advice – 5%
  24. Giving you their Netflix password – 5%
  25. Sharing money off vouchers – 4%




*This research of 2,000 Britons was commissioned by McCarthy Stone and conducted by Perspectus Global in October 2023.

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