Friendly neighbours and low crime rates top list of things that make a good community

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The perfect community is made up of helpful neighbours, regular litter pickers – and a decent local pub, according to research. A poll, of 2,000 Brits, also found parks and play areas, reliable public transport, and a running or walking group, are important to create a wholesome environment to live in.

And others feel low crime rates, small local businesses, and a convenience store nearby, are also key. Living in a nice community means 68 percent take pride in their local area, and will do what they can to make it a friendly and welcoming place.

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

Suzanne Dover, from the community retailer, 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.

“We are 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.”

The study also found 32 percent of respondents feel well-maintained gardens help make a community perfect, while the same percentage want a recycling centre – and 28 percent enjoy regular weekend market stalls to pick up local produce.

Nearly half of respondents (45 percent) feel that they are a part of their community, and 59 percent would recommend it as a desirable place to live to others. And volunteering is also seen as important, with 19 percent helping out at organisations and charities in their area.

Of those, a quarter do so two or three times a week – most commonly at charity shops (22 percent), or community development schemes like litter picking (22 percent). Nearly half (46 percent) volunteer because they want to make a difference, and 43 percent 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 percent agree that there are people in their neighbourhood that deserve special recognition for helping others.

It also emerged 49 percent know their neighbours fairly well, with 65 percent taking in deliveries for them, and 41 percent bringing in bins on collection day. One in five even exchange birthday and Christmas gifts – and 16 percent will drop in to feed a pet when the holiday season comes around.

The research, carried out via OnePoll.com, also found 37 percent 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 percent would like to see better maintenance of public spaces, and 30 percent more affordable housing options.

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 benefitted from this scheme, and know that together, we are making a real difference in communities.”



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