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Majority of adults feel our sense of community is declining

Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 27/06/2016.  Majority of adults  feel our sense of community is decliningTags: Parenting

Macra na Feirme and Calor launch the 2016 ‘Know your Neighbour’ Campaign

Seven in 10 (71%) of adults feel that children today feel a lesser sense of community than they themselves did growing up in Ireland. This rises to three quarters (75%) of adults living in urban communities. Similarly, not being familiar with neighbours is more prevalent in urban communities with almost one in six (14%) saying that they do not know their neighbours at all, versus just one in 20 (5%) of people in rural communities. The research was commissioned to mark the launch of Macra na Feirme’s ‘Know Your Neighbour’ campaign in partnership with Calor.

Broadcaster and campaign ambassador, Síle Seoige, who launched the campaign, commented: “As a native of the village of Spiddal in Galway, I know how much those living in rural communities can rely on their neighbours and how important a strong sense of community is. This summer, I’m delighted to be working on this campaign with Calor and Macra na Feirme, asking people, whether in an urban or rural setting to organise a community event in order for neighbours to get to know one another.”

Most people (41%) say that although they are friendly with their neighbours , they would not socialise with them, however, people in rural communities are far more likely to socialise with their neighbours with over one in five (21%) saying that they would versus just over one in 10 in urban areas (11%).

Commenting on the research at the launch of the 11th annual ‘Know Your Neighbour’ campaign, Macra National President, Seán Finan said; “Those living in isolated parts of the country with limited access to services rely on their closest neighbours for support, security and friendship. The aim of ‘Know Your Neighbour’ is to bring everyone together at community events, to get to know these neighbours and establish a strong support network. I am encouraging every community, rural or urban, to get involved.”

Urban and rural dwellers have conflicting priorities with ‘peace and quiet’ selected as a positive aspect of living in a rural community according to 75% of people while 89% of urban dwellers believe that convenience is king. Proximity to friends and family is important universally with four in 10 rural dwellers (40%) and half of urban dwellers (53%) saying that it is a positive aspect of where they live.

Other priorities for rural dwellers include friendly people (60%), a sense of community (45%) and a feeling of security (34%). When asked what aspects of rural life frustrated them, top grievances include slower broadband (63%), a lack of amenities (59%), a lack of local infrastructure (48%) and a lack of job opportunities (45%). In contrast while urban dwellers appreciate the availability of entertainment facilities (34%), Public transport links (31%) and job opportunities (24%) they are frustrated by traffic and congestion (56%), the cost of living (42%), noise (35%) and having to live in smaller accommodation (23%).

When it comes to turbulent relations with neighbours, one in five adults (20%) admit that they have had a row with their neighbour, with males more likely to fall-out with a neighbour than females (24% vs 17%). When it comes to what’s causing this unneighbourly behaviour, a shocking one in 10 adults (11%) admit to putting their rubbish in a neighbours bin with a further 3% admitting that they would do this if they thought they could get away with it and, it would seem that this has not gone unnoticed with one in six adults (16%) suspecting their neighbours of putting rubbish in their bin. And while most people (90%) say believe that it’s at least somewhat likely that their neighbour would give a ball back if it was kicked over their fence, one in 10 (10%) do not believe that their neighbour would oblige.

Macra na Feirme is calling on communities nationwide to host a local event this summer to encourage neighbours to get to know each other better. Any group or individual planning an event should register for an organiser’s pack at The organiser’s pack will include helpful ideas, posters, t-shirts and balloons to help make the event successful.


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