IT costs nothing, is something that the people of St Helens pride themselves in and now it’s official.
St Helens has been named the second friendliest town in the North West – just weeks after scores of residents joined forces to host Royal wedding-inspired street parties.
In a survey of 1,000 residents across the region, 78 per cent of local respondents revealed that they not only liked their neighbours but knew at least four of them by name.
On those two key criteria St Helens was second only to Carlisle and streets ahead of the likes of Bolton, Warrington, Stockport, Liverpool and Manchester.
Two thirds of St Helens people quizzed said they had been around to a neighbour’s house for a drink, 78 per cent revealed that a neighbour had done something unprompted to help them and 100 per cent said they received a Christmas card every year from at least one of their neighbours.
In the least friendly places – Salford and Rochdale – almost a fifth of residents admitted to not knowing a single neighbour by name.
The only negative statistics for St Helens showed that 56 per cent of the people questioned had suffered trouble with one of their neighbours and two thirds admitted to having actively avoided a neighbour so as not to engage in conversation.
The wide-ranging community spirit survey was commissioned as part of a drive to get communities to take part in the nationwide Big Lunch this Sunday (June 5).
Now in its third year, thousands of neighbourhoods across the UK have held Big Lunches as a catalyst to improve relationships, build friendships and bring communities together.
Jason Pollock, The Big Lunch’s campaign director, said: “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.”