Thursday 1st October: New survey results published today show a majority of the British public are interested in getting involved in at least one activity within their community, with the pandemic having shifted attitudes towards community participation.
The polling, conducted last week by Britain Thinks on behalf of Nesta, the innovation foundation, found that 83% of the public want to get involved with their communities in the future through at least one activity, with informal help, giving and formal volunteering being voted the most popular ways to do so. The results also reveal that people have observed a rise in informal volunteering (helping out a neighbour, caring for others) as a result of the pandemic (31% in 2019 to 34% today).
Other significant findings show:
These results show the willingness of communities across the UK to help each other and matches the shift we are seeing towards more people-powered approaches in community participation. Over the last ten years, Nesta, alongside many others, has supported innovations drawing on the collective power of citizens and communities to imagine new ways of working for public services and communities. From the Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund to the Upstream Collaborative, we have seen how changing who is involved and how public services can work more effectively with citizens can better address the complex challenges we face.
Danny Kruger MP’s report, Levelling Up Our Communities, published last week goes a long way in detailing the shift required to more seriously value increased power and connection in communities. In order to create conditions for strong community participation, Nesta is calling for:
Carrie Deacon, Director of Government and Community Innovation at Nesta, said:
“For over ten years, Nesta has seen a shift towards more people-powered public services. COVID-19 has shown the necessity for bringing these approaches from the margins to the mainstream.
Now is the time to fundamentally reshape the way we organise our communities, public services and democratic processes. To tackle the big challenges we face, from loneliness and isolation to social care, the Government needs to get serious about investing in people-powered approaches to public services. We urge the Government to act on last week's Kruger review and our recommendations today including a £2bn National Infrastructure Commission to invest as much in our community and social infrastructure as we are in building physical infrastructure like train lines and motorways.”
Reports published this week by Nesta, including People Power Shift and New Operating Models, give examples of organisations across the UK working towards more people-powered services and give further recommendations on how to achieve this in the future.
Press contact - Wallis Grant, 07921927454 - [email protected]
Full survey results available on request
Nesta spokespeople available for interview.
About the research
This note presents headline findings from a quantitative survey of UK adults, undertaken between 18th September 2020 – 20th September 2020.
This survey was undertaken to supplement Nesta’s wider work on public participation and the relationship between communities and local government in the UK.
The survey was run with a nationally representative sample of 2236 UK adults, and additional boosters so that the survey included 212 respondents in Scotland, 202 respondents in Wales, and 228 respondents in Red Wall constituencies. Data was weighted by age, gender, region and SEG.
For more information see www.britainthinks.com