Reblogged from http://www.dailyecho.co.uk article published Monday 23 February 2015
It is a city brimming with community spirit where neighbours become friends.
That’s the findings of a survey released today that has Southampton topping the charts when it comes to the most “neighbourly” city in the UK.
The research – carried out to mark the start of Love Your Neighbour Week – revealed how 90 per cent of people who were asked said they would count people who live close to them as friends.
One area in Southampton where there is real community spirit between neighbours is the Outer Avenue in Bevois Valley.
With its mixture of long-term residents and newly-moved in students in Avenue Road, Alma Road, Gordon Avenue and Earls Road, Outer Avenue Residents Association (OARA) has been at the forefront of showing how neighbours can be there for one another.
The group hold regular litter picks, parties to welcome students to the area, a cherry planting programme, table top sales and even have a wheelie bin management system.
They also rallied round to help a student who was assaulted in Portswood and bought him chocolates and a card, another example was when they brought tyres to help a resident whose car was vandalised.
Chairman of OARA, John Hayward, said: “It is good to reach out and get on with your neighbours for the common good.”
“From a personal point of view it makes a big difference, my wife and I have got to know lots of people we would have never met.
“It is nice to walk around and see the students clean and seethe planting going on and to feel like you are supporting each other.”
The survey was carried out by chocolatiers, Lily O’Brien’s and saw 5,000 people polled.
Des Hayward, 66, retired from Avenue Road, said: “We have grouped together because we wanted to have a community rather than being transient. We live here and we love the area and we wanted it to be a nice area to live in.”
Fiona Barnes,57, administrator from Avenue Road, said: “It has always been a friendly area here. We moved away in 1987 and moved back nine months later.
“People look after one another and I like the fact that even if you do not know someone’s name people say hello to each other.”