If you are one of the hoardes of people in the UK who do not know your neighbours, join Nextdoor, the social network that aims to link people living in the same area.

There are several reasons why neighbourhoods don’t function how they used to. It is a sad truth that, in 2017, few of us even know our neighbours’ names. Gone are the days when we chewed the cud over the garden fence, nipped upstairs to borrow a cup of sugar or baked a cake in honour of a brand new baby down the street.

There is a way to redress this imbalance, though. Nextdoor is a private social network for you, your neighbours and your community. Free to join, it gives gives you access to people in your area, recommendations, classifieds, free items, safety tips, lost and found postings and community events.

Nextdoor’s mission is to “provide a trusted platform where neighbours work together to build stronger, safer, happier communities, all over the world”.

Founded in 2010, the company now has offices in San Francisco, London and Amsterdam. It is funded by several Silicon Valley angels and investors including Benchmark Capital, Greylock Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Tiger Global Management and Shasta Ventures.

Former Downing Street adviser, Max Chambers, who helped to launch Nextdoor in the UK said in an interview last month: “The UK is in danger of sleepwalking towards the slow death of our neighbourhoods and the results are even more pronounced in London.

“While we are ever more connected globally through the internet, we are losing touch with those immediately around us…warning lights are flashing when it comes to social cohesion, isolation and feelings of belonging.”

Incidentally, the platform takes great care to maintain your safety online. Every neighbour (user, to you and me) has to verify their address and sign in with their real name – and neighbours’ information is never shared with advertisers.

Check out Nextdoor today. You’ll find handymen, babysitters, cleaners and plants going free. And, you never know, you may even find yourself a friend for life.

September 2017