Need help from your neighbours? Think again, unless you’re a women that is

It seems old fashioned neighbourhood courtesy is becoming a thing of the past, according to recent research by AXA.

2 June 2011

Posted in Product

by Daniel O’Byrne (see media contact)

When asked if they would be willing to provide a new neighbour with a cup of sugar over one in 10 said they would refuse, with 6% stating they simply don't trust people they don't know.


However research, carried out by AXA, has revealed that if you are a lady and ask the young, you have a better chance of borrowing something from your neighbour. Almost a third said they would be more receptive if a woman asked in comparison to just 3% if it was a man! And six in 10 18-24 year olds said they would be more likely to lend something to a neighbour while only four in 10 over 55 year olds could say the same thing.


But it seems although some neighbours are willing to help, people are not comfortable asking for help with 12% admitting that they would rather find a local shop or call a family member rather than knock on a neighbour's door.


Further research was carried out across the UK through live experiments to find out whether people would physically hand over a cup of sugar when asked by a new neighbour.


A clear north south divide appeared with 83% of neighbours in the South East and South West willing to help, in comparison to just 50-60% of those in the North West, Wales and Scotland.


But it was those in Yorkshire & Humberside that came out tops, with residents in York, Sheffield and Leeds all providing the "new neighbour" with a cup of sugar, many of whom went on to offer other items (tea bags and biscuits), giving information about the local area, recommending nearby walks and even inviting them in for a cuppa. Unlike those in Cardiff, Cambridge and Liverpool where only two out of five locals were neighbourly, with one Liverpudlian responding with 'clear off'!


Amanda Edwards, from AXA home insurance said: "It is lovely to see that people are willing to help their neighbours however it is sad to hear that trust in people is so low. Helping a neighbour in need, knowing those who live close by and being a friendly face is vital not just for the development of neighbourhoods but also to improve the security of people's homes. AXA home insurance is calling on people to take the time to say hello, know your neighbours and bring back old fashioned neighbourliness."