The Know your Neighbour campaign has been on the go for a while now, and in the summer we saw the campaign launch across the country with ambassador Síle Seoige. However, now it’s time for the winter launch as the evenings close in.
Macra na Feirme teamed up with Calor Gas to take on the research in recent months. The research has allowed them to see that loneliness is the biggest fear facing adults as they age.
At this week’s launch of the Know Your Neighbour winter campaign, Macra President Sean Finan spoke about the evenings growing darker, and communities growing quieter:
“As the evenings grow darker we are less likely to bump into neighbours out and about, and it’s important that we take this into account and make an extra effort with our more vulnerable neighbours.
“The research demonstrates that whether living in an urban or rural communities we share the same worries and concerns and whether in a city surrounded by people or in a more rural location, people can feel isolated and vulnerable. We are calling on all members of the community to join Macra members in getting to know their neighbours this winter,” he explained.
According to Macra, for just over quarter (27%) of people, loneliness is the biggest fear about growing old in their community. Safety and security (22%) and lack of access to health services (21%) also featured prominently. Surprisingly, fear of isolation is even more of a concern in urban areas (33% compared to 21% in rural areas) with lack of medical facilities more of a concern in rural areas (27% in rural versus just 14% in urban).
The ‘Know Your Neighbour’ campaign encourages people, all over the country, to reach out to their neighbours. This is particularly important during the winter months when almost two thirds (63%) of people feel it is more important to have a stronger sense of community during dark winter evenings.
Other findings from the ‘Know your Neighbour’ research included:
- The biggest concerns of those living in rural communities is lack of access to broadband (21%), followed by lack of opportunity to progress (14%), emigration of younger community members (13%) and the welfare and safety of elderly community members (13%).
- In comparison the biggest concerns of those living in urban communities is safety and security
- When asked what their favourite past times are, going to the pub listed as the most popular past time for more than a quarter (28%) of adults followed by shopping (26%) and local sports clubs (20%).
Calor and Macra na Feirme are calling on people all over the country to join Macra members in reaching out to those more vulnerable in their communities during the winter months. For more information see http://www.knowyourneighbour.ie/.