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Neighbourliness increases in midst of pandemic

Published on 17 September 2020

Written by Jo Dallas

In the midst of the global pandemic half of Scots say they feel more neighbourly.

As the six-month anniversary approaches of Scotland’s coronavirus lockdown, a new survey has revealed half (49%) of Scottish adults feel an increased sense of community spirit in their neighbourhood since lockdown began back in March.  And the survey, by Savanta ComRes, for the international development charity Christian Aid, shows the sense of increased community spirit is even higher in Scotland, compared to England (44%) and Wales (41%). 

The charity also asked if people felt more connected to their global neighbours at this time, given the impact of the pandemic around the world.  Across the UK as a whole, it found adults under 35 felt most connected to a global community (39%), compared to 31% among 35-54 year olds and 21% in the over 55 age group. 

Head of Christian Aid Scotland, Sally Foster-Fulton said,  

“The results confirm what many of us have all been feeling, we are living through hugely challenging times but one of the positives is an increased sense of community connection with our neighbours – to those just across the street and across the world.  We are all part of one humanity and share the same beautiful and fragile planet.  As we launch our global neighbours Autumn Appeal we’re asking people to do what they can to fundraise for Christian Aid, and to do it for their global neighbours, who are facing huge challenges too and sometimes in really fragile contexts, with no access to even the basics, like clean water and soap and with no safety net or NHS.” 

Coffee and cocoa farmer Angela Zelaya harvesting coffee.

“Climate change, less in the headlines because of the global pandemic but still causing huge challenges for those living in poverty, is an injustice we must keep challenging.  In Nicaragua for example small-scale coffee farmers like Angela (pictured) are struggling to make a living as changing weather patterns wreak havoc with crops.  Christian Aid is supporting Angela, and farmers like her, through our local partner in Nicaragua.  Angela and her neighbours are working in their community co-operative, to diversify.  This means switching to planting cocoa, which is a more climate resistant crop.” 

Seonaid Knox (age 26 from Greenock) is a Christian Aid supporter and member of the charity’s Prophetic Activist group, a group of volunteers trying to raise awareness around social justice issues:  

“It doesn’t surprise me that young adults have shown the most concern for their global neighbours in this new survey.  I think younger generations are increasingly aware of our global connectedness and taking climate change as an example, realise that our actions here in Scotland and the UK directly impact the lives of our global neighbours.  I would urge people to support Christian Aid’s Autumn global neighbours appeal and support farmers like Angela and her local community as they try to overcome the challenges presented by climate change.  Jesus taught us to love they neighbour – and for me that means both near and far.” 

If you would like to support Christian Aid’s Autumn Appeal and find out how to fundraise with your local community, to support our global neighbours, please find out more below.

Autumn Appeal

Bring our global neighbours good harvests for the future with our Autumn Appeal

Autumn Appeal Brew and Bake

Support coffee farmers facing crisis with a fun coffee and cocoa event.