York is the city with the most community spirit in the country

It helps to have a nice big wall around you


York is the UK city with the best community spirit, according to new research. In second place came Hull, while Belfast was third. Wolverhampton has the worst community spirit.

The poll of 4000 people, carried out by food brand Bisto (yes, Bisto) in association with Dr. Stephanie Alice Baker, Lecturer in Sociology at City, University of London, revealed that over a third are not satisfied with the level of community spirit in their neighbourhood and 43 per cent would like to see more of it.

Only half of Brits know their neighbour’s name and only 29% say hello to them.

Just over a third do not meet with local friends or family regularly and 39% do not engage in any social activities in their neighbourhood.

42% of people in York have a neighbour they could call if they lost a key. 25% engage in social activities in their neighbourhood and 26% check in and offer help to vulnerable neighbours, compared to just 16% and 13% respectively in Wolverhampton.

One in four (25%) have invited a neighbour to their home for a meal in the last year, compared to just one in 10 (10%) in Wolverhampton.

If you look closely you can see everyone talking to each other

If you look closely you can see everyone talking to each other

Dr. Baker said: “There’s a significant body of literature in sociology that discusses the decline of community in the twentieth century.

“Arguments of this kind have been intensified by the proliferation of digital devices and social media platforms in the twenty-first century.

“Our findings suggest that technology is not solely responsible for a decline in community spirit. A series of social and cultural factors have contributed to people’s lack of engagement in their community, including longer working hours, commute times and moving house frequently.

“Trust and friendship is generated by repeated, meaningful social interactions. To increase community spirit, we can start by taking the time to get to know those around us and engaging with them on a regular basis by simply saying hello or sharing a meal together.”

The close proximity of the windows in the Shambles allows neighbours to converse with each other with ease

The close proximity of the windows in the Shambles allows neighbours to converse with each other with ease

The survey was conducted to mark the launch of Bisto Open Door Sunday this Sunday 20th November, a project encouraging neighbours to get together.

Helen Touchais, Brand Director at Premier Foods, Bisto, said: “Whilst the research shows that community spirit across the UK is low, it is encouraging to see that many people want to improve it.

“We have been bringing families together around the table for over 100 years, and now we’re encouraging communities to partake in Bisto Open Door Sunday to get to know their neighbours over some good food.

“You may discover new wonderful friends right on your door step or make a lonely neighbour smile. A small gesture of a meal invitation could make a significant difference to those around you and make your neighbourhood a happier, closer knit place to live.”

The top 10 UK cities by community spirit:
1. York
2. Hull
3. Belfast
4. Derby
5. Plymouth
6. Wrexham
7. Newcastle
8. Swansea
9. Cardiff
10. Glasgow

And the 10 UK cities with the worst community spirit:
1. Wolverhampton
2. Portsmouth
3. Preston
4. Milton Keynes
5. Nottingham
6. Southampton
7. Cambridge
8. Liverpool
9. Oxford
10. Lincoln