More people are feeling part of their local community since the outbreak of Covid-19, new research has shown.
A study from The National Lottery Community Fund shows the pandemic has helped strengthen community ties and 30 percent of respondents are showing an interest in becoming involved.
The community fund, the largest funder of community interest in the UK, revealed that 69 percent of people in the UK feel they are part of their local community and 35 percent say Covid has bolstered that feeling.
The survey of 7,000 adults across the UK, showed that reducing loneliness and isolation is at the top of the agenda for the wellbeing of local communities and mental health support has also been flagged up as vital this year.
The findings show a more caring, community-focused outlook in the UK for 2021, which in turn could lead to more innovative local projects seeking National Lottery funding.
Reducing loneliness and isolation (47 percent), helping the local economy (43 percent), supporting mental health (39 percent) and helping local people to live healthily and well (38 percent) are all seen as key factors for their community’s wellbeing this year.
Other 2021 priorities include access to natural green spaces, providing young people with places to go and activities to do and community activities that bring people together.
A total of 65 percent said local community groups and projects, volunteers and charities deserve more recognition, while 34 percent want to see support for community projects and charities.
Faiza Khan MBE, Director of Engagement and Insight at The National Lottery Community Fund, 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 endeavor 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.
“At The National Lottery Community Fund, we believe that local communities know what they need and the research highlights some of the thousands of projects that people value as part of everyday life – these are exactly the kind of projects that regularly benefit from funding made possible thanks to National Lottery players.”
National Lottery players raise £30million a week for good causes and last year more than £650million was funded to community projects across the UK.