Signs of a good neighbour revealed – and it's all about the little things

Signs of a good neighbour revealed – and it's all about the little things

April 22, 2022

A STUDY has revealed the things you can do to be a good neighbour, and why it’s more important to people now than before Covid.

A study of 2,000 adults revealed watering plants and giving advance warning of a party are among the top 30 signs next-door is decent.

Classic signs of good neighbour material was found to include taking the bins in, accepting deliveries and keeping an eye on the property when the owners are on holiday.

Small gestures like offering to help with DIY and gardening tasks, assisting with carrying in shopping bags and being a good listener if a neighbour is opening up to them also featured in the list.

Interestingly, 77 per cent believe their street has some good neighbours, while a confident 92 per cent feel they are personally a great person to live next to.

One in five believe the pandemic helped bring them closer to their neighbours, with 18 per cent now more invested in their community than ever before.

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The research, commissioned by Warburtons, found Brits now say ‘hello’ or similar to people on their street almost every day.

It also emerged 14 per cent are happier to open up to others in their community since the pandemic, with 25 per cent turning to their neighbours to discuss the rising cost of living.

Jonathan Warburton, Chairman of Warburtons, said: “Today’s survey leaves no doubt that community and family values remain more important than ever to people across the country.

“We know how difficult the past two years have been for communities and that right now, in many ways, things aren’t getting any easier.

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“However, it’s encouraging to see from our research that the little things can help make a difference, from taking out the bins to saying a simple hello to your neighbours."

One in six have given or received advice with their neighbours when it comes to saving money, with 26 per cent relying on them more than ever for help during the ongoing cost of living crisis.

For some it means borrowing items from next-door instead of buying new (18 per cent), and teaming up on a food shop to save on costs (14 per cent).

Despite people’s money struggles, a quarter donate an average of £20 a month to community initiatives – including local charities, fundraising events and neighbourhood watch, and 18 per cent said they get involved in other ways.


These 30 things could help you feel closer to your community:

1.            Accepts deliveries           

2.            Keeps an eye on your home when you’re away / on holiday         

3.            Takes bins in for neighbours       

4.            Warns you before they have a party       

5.            Checks in on elderly or poorly neighbours            

6.            Waters plants when you’re away             

7.            Throws a football back over the fence if it’s been kicked over      

8.            Offers to go halves on a new fence between the two gardens     

9.            Feeds pets when you’re on holiday e.g. the cat, the rabbit            

10.          Recommends tradespeople to you

11.          Picks up litter out the front         

12.          Gives a heads-up to others if they’re having lots of guests over   

13.          Lends you larger items e.g. jet wash, tyre pump         

14.          Invites you around                   

15.          Offers to give you lifts   

16.          Always offers to lend you small items you don’t have e.g. milk, cooking ingredients

17.          Allows you to park on or over their driveway              

18.          Listens to you if you’re opening up to them         

19.          Helps you take shopping in when they can see you’ve got lots of bags

20.          Offers to mow the lawn when doing theirs           

21.          Offers to help with DIY

22.          Brings you leftover baked goods / meals

23.          Helps direct you when parking e.g. on a driveway, parallel parking

24.          Offers to walk your dog when they’re walking theirs        

25.          Offers to help with car maintenance       

26.          Shares doing the school run        

27.          Gives you old kids’ clothes/toys

28.          Lets you use a space in their home/garden to work          

29.          Washes your car if they’re washing theirs             

30.          Babysits

But while older Brits might call on next door for a ‘cup of sugar’, modern day versions include asking for DIY tools, coffee, phone chargers or even lateral flow tests.

The study, carried out via OnePoll, also showed neighbours socialise together by enjoying drinks at home (26 per cent), barbeques (17 per cent), street parties (15 per cent) and exercising together (12 per cent).

Proving how trusting Brits are of their neighbours, more than a third would leave a spare key to their home (35 per cent) with them and 26 per cent would ask them to pet-sit.

It seems that the struggles of the last few years have brought Brits closer together, and the benefits include having someone to clean your cat’s litter tray while you get a week in the sun.

Jonathan added: “As a family business, we’re recognising the importance people place on their communities by launching The Warburtons Foundation, a series of financial pledges, donations and projects that we hope will help many families better manage today’s challenges.”

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