Life in Lockdown: When neighbours become good friends

Following the Government’s instruction to stay at home in light of coronavirus, there’s been a rise in neighbourliness as people look out for the vulnerable and talk to their neighbours more than ever before.

Despite not being able to spend time physically with neighbours, almost a sixth of adults say their relationship with their neighbours has become better over the last few weeks. Almost three quarters of adults now know which of their neighbours are classed as high risk, and over a quarter have checked in on their neighbours.

It seems neighbours really are becoming good friends.

So, how can you be neighbourly while keeping a distance? Here are some of the different ways people have been keeping in touch with their neighbours over the past couple of weeks:

Chatting (at a distance!)

Whether that be stopping for a chat in the street, or a natter over the fence, social distancing doesn’t mean you have to stop being social. As long as you don’t come into close contact and can maintain a 2-metre distance, why not check in with your neighbours?


As we become increasingly isolated from loved ones, the simple act of waving to a neighbour can help you feel more socially connected. While a wave may not seem like a lot, it could make the world of difference to someone who is struggling. Since lockdown, over a quarter of adults have waved at their neighbour through a window.

Over the phone or online

Technology is playing a huge part in keeping communities in contact. In the last few weeks alone, over a sixth of people have received new contact details for their neighbours, ensuring they can keep in touch during this time. Even more encouraging, 18% of people have spoken to their neighbours online or over the phone to see how they are or if they need any help.

Lend a hand

In times of crisis, it’s important that we all pull together and look out for one another. We all play an important role in making sure those who are vulnerable are safe. Why not reach out to your neighbours and see if they need anything? Since we went into lockdown, 26% of people have checked in with their neighbours to see if they need anything, 12% have dropped off shopping and 4% have collected and dropped off essential medication.


To help reduce the impact of coronavirus measures on the mental wellbeing of millions of people, we’ve launched an online community centre, Co-operate. The platform connects you to local and national organisations as well as volunteers, so that you can get and give support during the crisis. Co-operate brings communities together online, until the time comes when neighbours can once again spend time with one another.

We’d love to hear your stories about how your neighbourhood has come together during lockdown. Share your experiences with us on Facebook and Twitter.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2146 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 3rd – 6th April 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+). By “the last few weeks” we mean from Friday 20th March up to and including Friday 3rd April.