Survey finds around half of Scots feel more neighbourly after lockdown

A Christian Aid survey has found that around half of Scots are feeling more connected to their neighbours as the six-month anniversary of lockdown approaches.

Christian Aid partners in Nicaragua
Johaira Herrera 15, daughter of coffee and cocoa farmer Angela Zelaya 41, with her sister Ariana Blandon 5. The family live in Santa Rosa, Nicaragua and have recently planted 700 cocoa plants to help diversify from growing coffee with the help of Soppexcca, Christian Aid’s partner.

The survey, which was carried out for the charity by polling firm Savanta ComRes, found that 49% of Scottish adults feel an increased sense of community in their neighbourhood.

The feeling of increased neighbourliness was slightly less in England (44%) and Wales (41%).

Those taking part were also asked if they felt more connected to people around the world due to the pandemic. People aged under 35 in the UK were most likely to agree (39%) while lower numbers of people aged 35-54 (31%) and 55 and above (21%) agreed they feel closer to global neighbours.

Challenging times

Sally Foster-Fulton, who is the head of Christian Aid Scotland, said that the results reflected what many people have been feeling.

"We are living through hugely challenging times but one of the positives is an increased sense of community connection with our neighbours – to those just across the street and across the world. We are all part of one humanity and share the same beautiful and fragile planet", she said.

"As we launch our global neighbours Autumn Appeal we're asking people to do what they can to fundraise for Christian Aid, and to do it for their global neighbours, who are facing huge challenges too and sometimes in really fragile contexts, with no access to even the basics, like clean water and soap and with no safety net or NHS.

"Climate change, less in the headlines because of the global pandemic but still causing huge challenges for those living in poverty, is an injustice we must keep challenging."

Seonaid Knox, a Kirk elder from Greenock and Christian Aid supporter, said she wasn't surprised that young people in particular had shown concern for their global neighbours.

"I think younger generations are increasingly aware of our global connectedness and taking climate change as an example, realise that our actions here in Scotland and the UK directly impact the lives of our global neighbours", she said.

"I would urge people to support Christian Aid's Autumn global neighbours appeal and support farmers as they try to overcome the challenges presented by climate change.

"Jesus taught us to love thy neighbour – and for me that means both near and far."

Find out more

If you would like to support Christian Aid's Autumn Appeal and find out how to fundraise with your local community, to support our global neighbours, please visit the Christian Aid website to find out more.