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2024: Community spirit shines in UK communities as they prepare for year ahead

As the UK heads into 2024, new research from The National Lottery Community Fund – the largest community funder in the UK – reveals that people’s sense of community spirit and desire to support others is in good health across all four corners of the UK. 

  • Six in ten say community spirit is strong where they live (59%) and they feel part of their local community (61%)
  • A majority (64%) are willing to work with others to improve their local community, and half (50%) say they intend to volunteer in 2024
  • UK adults say supporting people with the rising cost of living is the top priority for improving wellbeing in their community in 2024
  • Local groups to receive a boost in 2024 as The National Lottery Community Fund doubles down on its commitment to grassroots funding.

Seven in ten (72%) say it’s important to them to feel part of their local community, and six in ten (59%) say community spirit is strong where they live. Encouragingly, many (61%) say they feel part of their local community, with all the benefits that this entails.

These include feeling safer (59%), having more awareness of what is happening (58%) and a greater sense of belonging (55%) in their local area. Others rate the opportunity it provides to build friendships and connections, with 45% saying that having an opportunity to meet people is a benefit of being part of their community.

A majority (64%) are willing to work with others to improve their local community, but only around half feel they have the opportunity (52%) or ability to play a role (46%).

Despite this, half (50%) of UK adults intend to take part in local volunteering activities (formal and informal) in 2024 – with one in ten (14%) planning to volunteer for the first time.

Among those who intend to volunteer this year, food banks (30%), the environment (30%), supporting older people (29%) and working at charity shops (29%) are where they plan to focus their community-minded efforts.

The findings come from The National Lottery Community Fund’s latest Community Research Index, an annual survey of over 8,000 people across the UK that finds out how people feel about their local community, and what their ambitions and priorities are for their community both longer-term and in the year ahead.

When it comes to the wellbeing of their local community, dealing with the impact of the cost of living remains people’s top priority in 2024. Three quarters (76%) predict continued rising demand for local food banks in the year ahead, along with greater local need for debt advice (71%), mental health support (70%) and housing charities (63%). This makes it even more important that community spirit and people’s involvement and desire to volunteer remain strong.

Looking to the longer-term future and people’s aspirations for their community, a third of UK adults (32%) identify reduced poverty and deprivation as among the top three changes they would like to see for the next generation.

The National Lottery Community Fund has four key missions, which are to support communities to come together, be environmentally sustainable, help children and young people thrive and enable people to live healthier lives. The funder takes an equity-based approach to its work, investing most in places, people and communities experiencing poverty, disadvantage and discrimination.

Click here for the full press release

 

Channel website: https://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/

Original article link: https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/news/press-releases/2024-01-08/2024-community-spirit-shines-in-uk

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