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Cheryl Cole is Britain’s favourite neighbour


  • Brits’ favourite and most dreaded neighbours revealed
  • Community spirit alive in modern Britain

Brits would most like to live next door to Cheryl Cole, according to a new survey by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks.

Already the nation’s sweetheart and the queen of style, Cheryl Cole has now been crowned the person that Brits would most like to have as their neighbour, closely followed by fashion guru, Gok Wan and campaigning super chef, Jamie Oliver.

The nationwide poll of 3,000 adults examined our attitudes to communities to launch Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks’ Spirit of Community campaign and found that, contrary to popular opinion and reports of ‘broken Britain,’ community spirit and neighbourhood camaraderie is alive and kicking in the UK.

The poll revealed:

  • Britons’ perfect neighbour is friendly, helpful and good fun
  • Curtain twitching came out as a surprisingly popular attribute for city dwellers - 17 per cent of Londoners wanted a nosey neighbour in their community
  • Kerry Katona, despite making a post-divorce fresh start in Surrey, topped the league of the most dreaded neighbours, closely followed by Madonna and Jedward

The research also found that we love nothing more than socialising with our neighbours:

  • We’d prefer the folks in our community to be good fun (45 per cent) than clean and tidy (just 40 per cent)
  • More than 42 per cent of people have the neighbours round for a BBQ or dinner and over one in ten (11 per cent) have had VE Day-style street parties
  • Almost one in ten (8 per cent) people in Edinburgh have even jetted off on holiday with their neighbours

What’s more, the research suggests that we’re not afraid to ask for a little help from our neighbourhood friends:

  • A third of women would prefer to live next door to a professional tradesperson so they can call on them for help
  • 16 per cent of adults have roped in their neighbours to help out around the house and garden
  • Public-spirited Brits are more likely to get involved in community activity (40 per cent) than head down the pub with their neighbours (just 18 per cent)

Jenni Trent Hughes, social commentator, said: “Being part of a larger whole makes us feel more secure, safe and as if we ‘belong’. This trend that we are now seeing – from Downing Street to Our Street – is a reflection of the fact that no man is an island.

“In days gone by most of us lived in villages, our families were close by, most likely we went to church regularly and belonged to at least one community group. We are finally going back to the ways of our ancestors - a time when giving to others was more a sign of who a person was than driving a flashy car or wearing designer clothes. And not a moment too soon. Britain may not be broken but this renewed sense of community will definitely strengthen us as a nation.”

With the new coalition Government pledging to rebuild strong communities, the research by Yorkshire and Clydesdale Banks found that 40 per cent of folk are already actively involved. Community spirit is particularly alive in the capital - almost a fifth of Londoners (19 per cent) regularly help out at a local charity or community group, compared to 12 per cent of adults nationally.

The research into community spirit and what Britons look for in a community was commissioned by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks to launch a campaign to reward and recognise those public-spirited individuals who are already the perfect neighbour.

Dean Cutbill, director at Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks said: “It’s great to see that public-spirited people across the UK are pitching in for their community. This is something that we feel very strongly about and our Spirit of Community Awards is all about bringing neighbourhoods even closer together. We’re searching for people who regularly carry out remarkable acts in their community for a local cause or charity, so that we can reward both them and the causes they help.”

Nominations for the Spirit of Community Awards can be made by the individual themselves or by other community members and entrants will need to provide examples of how the individual has made a positive contribution to their community, for example, helping out at a youth club, organising coffee mornings for the elderly, doing regular fund-raising initiatives for local causes or even getting teams together to pick up litter and improve their local environment.

Further information and entry forms can be found online at (removed) and (removed)

The winners will be rewarded with a coveted trophy and £1,000 prize money both for themselves and to assist a local cause of their choice. The deadline for entry is Monday 30 August 2010.

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