As the UK welcomes in a new year, new research from The National Lottery Community Fund shows that almost three quarters of people in the UK feel part of their local community, and that safety on the streets, young people and mental health are amongst their priorities for their community in 2022:
- Over seven in ten (73%) say they feel part of their local community - 68% say it's important to them to feel like this
- Young people are leading the way - 18 to 24 year olds are more likely to feel connected to their local community, more likely to see this as important and more likely to volunteer or help out in 2022
- Community priorities: people want safety on the streets (63%), their local area to look nice (59%) and for young people to have places to go and things to do (53%)
- When it comes to their community's wellbeing in the year ahead, reducing loneliness and isolation (48%), people caring and looking out for each other (46%) and support for mental health (40%) are priorities
- The National Lottery Community Fund commits to supporting UK communities to make the most out of #celebrate2022, a year that will bring people together in national celebration and pride.
The National Lottery Community Fund's latest Community Research Index shows a year-on-year increase in people across the UK feeling part of their local community, with young people leading the way. Despite a challenging year, almost three quarters of people (73%) now feel a sense of connection to their local community - up from 69% last year. And feeling part of the community is also growing in value, with 68% saying it is important to them, compared to 62% last year.
The annual survey of over 8,000 adults across the UK is designed to find out how people feel about their communities, which in turn helps The National Lottery Community Fund to respond.
It reveals that people want to be more active in their community this year, with just under half (46%) of UK adults saying they intend to help out or volunteer in their local community in 2022.
However, the real surge in community involvement comes from 18 to 24 year olds, who are more likely than any other age group to feel part of their local community (78%), more likely to see this as important (73%), and are more likely to volunteer (71%).
The research also reveals that people continue to have a good sense of what their community needs in order to prosper and thrive in 2022. When it comes to the physical environment and assets their community needs, six in ten say safety on the streets (63%) and keeping the area looking nice (59%) are important, followed by young people having places to go and things to do (53%) and access to natural green spaces (also 53%).
When thinking of their community's wellbeing, people identify reducing loneliness and isolation (48%), people caring and looking out for each other (46%), services for mental health (40%) and preventing youth violence (39%) as local priorities in 2022.
This new research builds on the Fund's recent Impact Report, which showed the wide range of positive outcomes that National Lottery funding makes for people and communities across the UK. These include improving thousands of places and spaces; building community spirit, local pride and belonging, and mobilising 290,000 volunteers annually.
Importantly, over four in ten (44%) say that activities that bring people together will be important for their community in the year ahead. Thanks to National Lottery players this is an important area of focus for funding, and with 2022 set to be a year of national celebration and pride (#Celebrate2022), including the Queen's Jubilee and the Commonwealth Games taking place in the UK, there should be a wealth of opportunities for everyone across the UK.