Skip to content

What makes the perfect community? Research reveals helpful neighbours, volunteering and a decent pub make us love our neighbourhoods

The perfect community is made up of helpful neighbours, regular volunteers – and a decent local pub, according to new research from SPAR UK.

The study of 2,000 adults also found that well-maintained community gardens, reliable public transport and a running or walking group are important in creating a wholesome environment to live in.

Others believe a local convenience store is also key to helping feel connected to your community with everything you need on your doorstep.

Living in a nice community means more than two-thirds (68%) take pride in their local area and will do what they can to make it a friendly and welcoming place.

Giving Back To Local Causes

The research was commissioned by SPAR UK to launch our third Community Cashback scheme, giving away a total of £100,000 in grants to local voluntary or community organisations and charities on behalf of our shoppers.

Suzanne Dover, Brand & Marketing Director at SPAR UK said: "There is nothing better than a community that comes together and it’s great to see how people across the UK care about their local communities.”

“SPAR is passionate about nurturing neighbourhoods and empowering people to make a positive difference to where they live. The results show that it’s the people above anything else that create a strong community.”

“We had such a brilliant response to last year’s Community Cashback campaign, rewarding a variety of local organisations and charities who help others, and we are delighted to bring it back again this year.”

The study also found that 45% of respondents feel that they are a part of their local community and 59% would recommend it as a desirable place to live to others.

Improving Our Communities

Volunteering is also seen as important with (19%) helping out at local organisations and charities in their area, with 30% previously volunteering in their neighbourhood.

Of those, a quarter do so two or three times a week – most likely at charity shops (22%) or as part of community development schemes including litter picking and Citizens Advice volunteers (22%).

Nearly half (46%) volunteer because they want to make a difference, and 43% like helping the people in their area.

Local communities also support each other by organising fundraising events such as cake sales and charity runs.And 40% agree that there are people in their neighbourhood who deserve special recognition for helping others.

Everyone Needs Good Neighbours

It also emerged half of Brits (49%) know their neighbours well, with 65% taking in deliveries for them, and 41% bringing in bins on collection day.

One in five even exchange birthday and Christmas gifts – and 16% will drop in to feed a pet when the holiday season comes around.

The research also found as many as 37% of Brits would go as far as to say the community they live in is ‘perfect’.

But of those who could see some improvement, 31% would like better maintenance of public spaces and 30% more affordable housing options.

What It Means To The Winners

Suzanne Dover added: "Our grant scheme is aimed at supporting and giving back to the communities where we have our shops. We've seen first-hand how much last year's grant winners have benefited from this scheme and know that together, we are making a real difference in communities.”

Richard Walsh from Stepping Out in Dorset, said: “Stepping Out is delivered free to all participants. Without raising money from people like SPAR, Stepping Out wouldn’t be possible. SPAR’s Community Cashback scheme is helping us deliver the programme for this year.”

Lyndsay Fahey from Rainbow Hub in Lancashire, said: “The Community Cashback grant will be used to help us fund the conductive education therapy that we provide for the children, and it will help us to help them become more independent.”

Tess Thomas from Ty Hapus in Cardiff, said: “When we got news of the Community Cashback grant we were so pleased because we knew that we’d have money there to support our guests over the next two years. It’ll mean that the guests will be able to get out more in the community and it will provide extra respite for families and carers.”

Lisa Davidson from Fox & Friends in the Scottish Highlands, said: “When I received the grant I was absolutely shocked. I thought I only applied for £1,000 and then I got the email through that I got £10,000, and so it’s just amazing and we’re absolutely delighted.”

Kerry Anderson from Air Ambulance NI, based in Country Antrim, said: “Our charity and the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service has been in operation for almost six years now. During that time, the medical team have been called out on over 3,500 missions. We’re responsible for raising in and around £2.5 million every single year.”

Apply today to the Community Cashback scheme!

You may also be interested in...

Receive our latest deals, news and competitions straight to your inbox!