The pandemic has helped to reignite people’s interest in their local community with three in ten (30%) planning to get more involved in 2021, according to research released today by The National Lottery Community Fund.
The National Lottery Community Fund questioned over 7,000 UK adults for the survey, asking how people are feeling about their community and their ambitions for their local area for the year ahead.
The findings show that across the UK almost seven in ten people (69%) feel like they are part of their local community, with around a third acknowledging that Covid has increased their sense of belonging (35%) and also made it more important for them to feel part of it (33%).
Three in ten (30%) plan to get more involved in their local community in 2021 and there is also a firm sense of the challenges communities face and what will be important locally this year.
Reducing loneliness and isolation (47%), helping the local economy (43%), supporting mental health (39%) and helping local people to live healthily and well (38%) are all seen as important by respondents for their community’s wellbeing this year.
Other priorities are safety on the streets (54%), access to natural green spaces (52%), providing young people with places to go and activities to do (48%) and community activities that bring people together (38%).
Many of the changes people most want to see for their community in the year ahead are behavioural. These include people caring and looking out for each other (50%), a focus on supporting each other and good neighbourliness (45%), and parents spending quality time with their children (42%).
A majority (65%) say too that local community groups and projects, volunteers and charities deserve more recognition. And when thinking of what they most want for their local community in 2021, just over a third (34%) want to see support for community projects and charities.
Faiza Khan MBE, Director of Engagement and Insight at The National Lottery Community Fund, commented:
“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 – making more of us appreciate our community and want to get involved.”