A CAMPAIGN to help people get to know their neighbours is gathering pace.

Community organisations alongside the police and fire service are trying to tackle loneliness and the health and emotional problems it brings.

The Know My Neighbour campaign in Brighton has already seen thousands of Christmas cards printed for people to post to their neighbours as the first way of making contact.

Amy Goodwin, from One Church Brighton, one of the organisations leading the project, said: “People are busy with their own lives and often tend to just get up and go to work, and a lot of people are commuting to London.

“Putting a Christmas card through the door is a great and gentle way of saying hello.”

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has paid for the printing of the Christmas cards, available to pick up at One Church in Gloucester Place, and Ms Goodwin said they are already seeing results.

She said: “One person had a neighbour come round with a plate of food and then they agreed to meet up in the Christmas break. Another was told about a new baby being born and they got together to cook a meal for their family.”

The campaign will formally begin at the start of 2016, and the plan is for a year of events, such as street get-togethers, that will "bring people together, break down barriers and provide helpful resources to support each other".

Campaigners hope to make Brighton the “the most connected, most neighbourly and most fun city in the U.K.”

They say Brighton is a city of “lonely and isolated people”, despite its tolerance and diversity, noting that isolation can cause health problems and “deep emotional distress”.

"Although most of us say we feel part of our local neighbourhood, it does not mean we take part by looking out for those living closest to us," they said in a statement.

"This ambitious campaign will challenge us all to take small practical steps to get plugged into our community and make sure no one is left out."

Some 20 organisations are already involved and organisers hope more will join in.

The website www.knowmyneighbour.org, will list suggestions of events to organise or ways to make contact with neighbours.

For more information or to get involved, contact Amy Goodwin on amy@onechurchbrighton.org 01273 694746.