Research carried out by The Big Lunch found that just over a quarter of those surveyed in Scotland don’t know their neighbours, and one in five have no idea what their neighbours’ names are.
The key reasons holding Scots back from knocking next door include a lack of time, shyness, worries about getting on with their neighbours or that they will have nothing in common. When doors have been knocked, one in five Scots said the main reason has been to collect a parcel.
However, of the Scots surveyed who are keen to know their neighbours better, 70 per cent think it would improve the community spirit in their area, 47 per cent believe it would give their neighbourhood a friendlier atmosphere, while 42 per cent of those surveyed feel it would make their area feel safer.
Peter George of Gardner Memorial Church, Brechin last year organised a Jubilee themed community Big Lunch, held in St Ninian’s Square with the help of a dedicated group of volunteers.
He commented: “The event was put together at rather short notice, but, with the support and encouragement of the Big Lunch and numerous local businesses we were able to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee occasion in style.
“It was a great day with some good old-fashioned community togetherness. I’d encourage anyone to organise a Big Lunch, you’ll be surprised and heartened by the responses!”
This is mirrored in the research where 80 per cent of Scots who have knocked on their neighbour’s door at some point, comment that a surprising number of things have happened, such as making a new friend for them or their children, being helped when in trouble, joining a new club or even meeting their future spouse.
Taking place on June 2 this year, The Big Lunch is an idea from the Eden Project funded by The Big Lottery Fund, encouraging people across the UK to come together on one day to share a few hours of food, friendship and fun.
For further information or to request your free pack containing invitations, recipes, posters and other materials to help organise your Big Lunch, visit: www.thebiglunch.com.