Everybody needs good neighbours – and we’ve got them

WHITLEY Bay has been named as the friendliest place in the north east in a recent survey.

A survey of 1,000 people in ten towns and cities across the region shows that in some of them nearly one in six people are unable to name even one of their neighbours.

However, 71 per cent of residents in Whitley Bay could name four or more of their neighbours.

That put the town at the top of the poll along with Middlesbrough.

At the other end of the scale, just 15 per cent of those surveyed in Darlington and eight per cent in Newcastle could name four or more of their neighbours.

The research is part of a drive to get communities to sign up for the Big Lunch, an annual get-together for neighbours across the UK to be held on Sunday, June 5.

Jason Pollock, campaign director for the Eden Project-organised event, launched in 2009, said: “In the north east alone, registrations for the Big Lunch are up 70 per cent year on year.

“One of the reasons why we launched the Big Lunch was to give neighbours an opportunity to get to know each other, and these latest figures show that the north east, known for its welcoming people, is getting behind the initiative wholeheartedly.

“We know that communities that have previously held Big Lunches have since become stronger and much happier places to live as residents no longer feel like strangers.

“The Big Lunch helps people to realise the true value of their neighbours and the support that a community can offer, with many neighbours providing a much-needed hand.”

A Big Lunch can be anything from a few neighbours getting together in the garden or street, to a full-blown party with food.

For details, visit www.thebiglunch.com