Charities and community groups 'deserve more recognition', survey suggests

Nearly two-thirds of people think that community groups and projects, volunteers and charities deserve more recognition, according to new research.

The results published today by The National Lottery Community Fund suggests the coronavirus pandemic has helped to reignite people’s interest in their local community and sparked a desire to be more involved in 2021.

The survey of more than 7,000 UK adults asked they were feeling about their community and their ambitions for their local area for the year ahead.

It found that almost seven in 10 people said they felt part of their local community.

About a third said Covid-19 had increased their sense of belonging, with a similar proportion saying the pandemic had made it more important for them to feel part of the community. 

Slightly more than a third of respondents said more support for community projects and charities was one of the things they most wanted to see in 2021, and 30 per cent said that they planned to get more involved in their local community.

A greater appreciation has come with a firmer sense of the challenges their community faces and what will be important over the coming year, the figures indicate.

Top priorities that people wanted to see addressed in their community over the coming year were reducing loneliness and isolation, identified by almost 47 per cent of respondents, followed by helping the local economy and supporting mental health. 

Many of the changes people would like to see are also behavioural, with half of the people surveyed saying they should care and look out for each other more in 2021. 

Faiza Khan, director of engagement and insight at the NLCF, said: “Last year so many communities up and down the country demonstrated the amazing things people can do to support each other during challenging times. 

“This research shows the power of that collective endeavour and the profound impact on how we feel about the areas we live in and the people around us.”

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