Plea for more community bonding

Only a minority of Britons say they feel part of their local community, despite last year's street parties in honour of the Diamond Jubilee

Only a minority of Britons say they feel part of their local community, despite last year's street parties in honour of the Diamond Jubilee

First published in National News © by

Most Britons rarely or never socialise with people in their area, with only a minority saying they feel part of their local community, according to a survey.

A poll of 2,000 people has suggested "little genuine bonding" between neighbours, with 64% of people reporting that they rarely or never socialise with people from their area.

Only two-fifths (42%) said they felt part of their neighbourhood, while only around a half, or 53%, said they felt their local communities were receptive to newcomers regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, religion or political belief.

But where people saw physical violence in their neighbourhood, 66% said they had either intervened or witnessed someone else do so - including those who challenged a violent individual themselves, those who reported the incident and those who saw someone else intervene.

This figure fell to 57% in cases where people said they had witnessed verbal abuse.

The findings were released by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) in advance of Holocaust Memorial Day on Sunday when the victims of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur will be honoured.

Olivia Marks-Woldman, HMDT chief executive, said: "Whole communities were completely destroyed during the Holocaust and subsequent genocides, which is why we are asking people to honour HMD 2013 by building bridges within their communities.

"It is heartening to find that when people have seen abuse taking place in their local communities, so many have stepped in or seen other people do so.

"However, there is still much work to be done to ensure we respect difference within our communities."

The HMDT is responsible for the annual commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day.

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