Woman clearing snow outside home with shovel

Good neighbours vow to help vulnerable as temperatures tumble

Posted 3 March 2016 5:29 PM by John Greaves

HomeServe study reveals six in ten people will look to find ways to help vulnerable and elderly neighbours

Gritting paths, DIY jobs, stocking cupboards, checking heating and keeping neighbours company top the list of good neighbour support being offered as temperature take a tumble

As the country braces itself for blankets of snow and ice from tomorrow (Friday) and over the weekend1, a HomeServe study shows millions will be going out of their way to help the most vulnerable and elderly neighbours in their communities.

Independent research commissioned by HomeServe shows the UK as a nation of caring neighbours, with almost six in every ten people (58%) pledging to find ways to help out older and more vulnerable people living locally.

Yellow weather warnings from the Met Office1 have put large swathes of Wales, England and Scotland on alert as a cold front sweeps in from the Atlantic. However, homeowners are also on stand by to support people in a number of ways:

  • By salting and gritting paths (26% will do this for their elderly and vulnerable neighbours)
  • Emergency repairs and DIY jobs (25%)
  • Checking food stocks (20%)
  • Checking heating and boilers are working (15%)
  • Inviting older and more vulnerable people into their homes (15%)

“Supporting the most vulnerable people in our communities – particularly when temperatures take a dip like this – continues to be an incredibly important role for so many people” said HomeServe’s Brand Director John Greaves. “The good news is that millions of caring neighbours right across the country will be taking the time to check on their elderly or vulnerable neighbours and helping them out in many different ways.”

The nationwide HomeServe poll of more than 2,000 homeowners2 reveals that women are more likely than men to check on neighbours’ food stocks (23% compared to 18% of men), while men are most likely to carry out DIY and repair jobs (30% to 20% women) and salting or gritting paths (28% to 24% women).

Younger people are most likely to check if vulnerable neighbours have enough heating, with under 35s topping the poll at 18%, however, it is the under 25s who are the most likely to invite older, more vulnerable neighbours round so they are not lonely during winter.

In terms of geographic splits:

  • Neighbours in Scotland and the South West of England are most likely to check if their vulnerable and elderly next-door neighbour has enough food (26%)
  • Neighbours in Scotland are most likely to check on their neighbour’s heating (21%)
  • Neighbours in London are most likely to invite a lonely neighbour over to their home during winter (20%)
  • Neighbours in the North East are most likely to carry out DIY and repair jobs (30%)
  • Neighbours in Yorkshire are most likely to salt or grit their elderly or vulnerable neighbour’s path (41%)

1 Source reference: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings/#?tab=warnings&map=Warnings&zoom=5&lon=-3.50&lat=55.50&fcTime=1456963200

2 Source reference: HomeServe’s in-depth “Good Neighbours” study of more than 2,000 UK homeowners was carried out by Mindlab in Autumn/Winter 2015.


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