Macra na Feirme is urging its members to get to know their neighbours this autumn and to engage with others in their community this autumn, especially the elderly.

As Macra na Feirme and Calor’s ‘Know your Neighbour’ Campaign continues research reveals the need and desire for closer communities, especially in rural areas

To encourage its members to engage with their neighbours more, Macra teamed up with Calor and send all its members mugs, teabags and biscuits!

Research looking into the community aspects of Irish life, conducted by Calor as part of the Know Your Neighbour campaign, reveals security as the #3 issue facing communities in Ireland.

Unemployment topped the concerns at 18% with quality of roads at 9%, and then security, anti-social behaviour and access to medical services all coming in as the third highest issue at 8% each.

The research also examines discrepancies between rural and urban communities:

  • One in three (34%) rural dwellers claim access to a Garda station is difficult, which is more than double the number of people (15%) making the same claim in urban areas.
  • Rural dwellers also place more importance than urban dwellers on knowing your neighbours (63% versus 55%) though similar numbers claimed (46%) they would like to do more for their local community and (49%) are interested in “creating and maintaining close relationships with the people in the local community”.

While the research shows a desire to forge closer communities, the findings also reveal a feeling of disenfranchisement where 41% of all respondents feel they are not an important part of the local community.

These findings reflect the premise of the Know Your Neighbour campaign which is to actively encourage Macra na Feirme members to engage with others in their community, especially the elderly.

To this end, the autumn phase of the campaign involves hundreds of Calor Care Packs being distributed to Macra members containing everything needed for a chat over a cup of tea – two mugs, a pack of tea and a pack of biscuits.

Seán Finan, National President, Macra na Feirme said that Macra members are active and enthusiastic members of the communities in which they reside.

“We are delighted to partner with Calor who are providing us with an opportunity to knock on our neighbours door, check if they need anything, and catch up over a cup of tea.

“A simple chat with your neighbour might provide the perfect opportunity to identify any problems that you can help with and provide comfort and friendship.

“I am encouraging all members to put their Calor care pack to good use and visit a neighbour today,” he said.