The campaign is being trialled in Bristol where residents aged over 65:
- nearly all live in streets (96%) and in their own house (75%) – ONS 2013/2010, BBC 2014
- often live alone (30% ) – ONS 2013a, AgeUK 2014
- will rise in number by 50% in the next 20 years from 1 in 6 to 1 in 4 – an extra 36,000 people – AgeUK 2014
- often feel lonely (10% ) – AgeUK 2014
Also, half (51%) of over 75s live alone – General Lifestyle Survey 2008, ONS.
Further research from the Prince’s Trust finds that it’s not just our older residents who feel lonely: ‘more than a third of young people aged 16 to 24 do not feel part of their local community’.
Loneliness harms health, and is as comparable for early death as smoking 15 cigarettes a day – worse than obesity and physical inactivity (Campaign to End Loneliness).
The above facts mean that contact with neighbours can play an important role in reducing isolation and loneliness, for all ages. Being friendly in streets, if not friends, is good for health and social cohesion.
Facts from Streets Alive – the neighbours and street party charitable group.
In our many post-street party surveys:
- 89% thought that their street party ‘brought together neighbours of different ages and backgrounds’ at least a ‘fair amount’
- residents meet an average of 8 new neighbours