Friendly Sheffield folk stop to chat

Sheffield has the chattiest neighbours in the UK, according to new research.

Some 91 per cent of Sheffielders make time to talk to their neighbours, with 88 per cent of residents saying they are comfortable to start a conversation with a stranger.

The nationwide study of 2,000 adults was carried out by The Big Lunch - a Lottery-funded initiative which encourages neighbours to have an annual get together.

The survey also revealed that 57 per cent of Steel City folk feel getting to know their neighbours comes naturally to them, while 35 per cent say it makes where they live a happier place.

Half of residents go out of their way to start a conversation with their neighbours, and 53 per cent who chat say it makes them feel more connected to the rest of their community.

Clinical psychologist Tanya Byron said: “It is very easy to trivialise ‘small talk’ as tedious and time wasting, but in fact taking the time to have meaningful but minimal interactions is very important.

“These are the conversations that have meaning and benefit our immediate community and wider society. They are free, take no time and are impactful.

“In taking the trouble to talk to your neighbour you may also be helping to reduce their sense of loneliness.”

The most popular topics of conversation are weather, holidays, enquiring about well-being, children and local events.