UK: Action needed to support communities
13 Sep 2017
- There has been an 18% drop in the number of people taking action and helping out in their local community, in the last two years, compared to those asked a year ago*
- That’s despite 37% of Britons saying that times of uncertainty encourage community spirit
- 59%** of community groups say as little as £2,500 or less would secure the day to day running of their community group for the next 12 months
- Money (55%) and more volunteers (54%) highlighted by community organisations as factors that would bring most benefit their group
New research to mark the launch of the Aviva Community Fund 2017 has found a surprising 18% drop in the number people giving up their time to help out in their local community over the last two years.
This is despite 37% of Britons saying that times of uncertainty encourage greater community spirit and a further 31% saying their local community would rally together if something bad were to happen.
From Carnkie Village Hall needing equipment to run film nights, enabling local residents to have a cinema experience without having to travel by car or public transport, to ‘Urban Buzz’, a project aiming to create bee friendly spaces in Birmingham, Cardiff, Plymouth and York; community groups do inspiring work every day, which often goes unseen. Without adequate funding or volunteers, groups such as these will not be able to carry out the important services they deliver in their communities.
55% of people involved in community organisations over the last two years have said that money is what they need most over the next 12 months, closely followed by more volunteers (54%), more participants (38%) and new equipment (27%).
While money is highlighted as a key priority by those that have helped out in their local community in the last two years, the majority (59%) say that that as little as £2,500 or less would secure the day to day running of their community group over the next 12 months.
Those involved in community groups stated that often, ordinary objects such as sports equipment (19%), first aid supplies (14%) and kids toys (10%) will make a difference to their group.
Although the need for volunteers is clear, the main barrier for those that have not helped out a community organisation is not having the time (33%).
For those worried about time, the Aviva Community Fund is a quick and easy way to help give community groups a helping hand. Now in its third year, it is an initiative that offers support and funding for local causes. Members of the community can submit an idea that will make a real difference to a local group or charity they’re passionate about, with the chance to secure funding ranging from up to £1,000 to £25,000.
Tom Daniell, Retail Marketing Director at Aviva says:
“Over the last three years, we have seen the positive impact that the Aviva Community Fund can have to a real variety of community groups.
“This year, it will finance over 500 projects across different funding levels ranging from £1,000 up to £25,000, as we believe good projects come in all shapes and sizes – from buying housing for hedgehogs in Dewsbury, to buying specialist motorbikes which transport lifesaving medical supplies in Lancashire.”
Stuart Brown, Business Development Manager at Small Charities Coalition, says:
“From our experience as, and working with small charities on a daily basis, we know the vital impact they have in providing services and support across the country as well as locally.
“Every penny counts for small charities. With such a variety of groups of different sizes, all different levels of funding will be required to cover equipment or projects, or contribute towards their running costs for a year. Ultimately this funding can help bring communities together and promote their wellbeing.”
Ian German, a volunteer at North West Blood Bikes who were awarded funding by the Aviva Community Fund commented;
“The award from the Aviva Community Fund meant that we could continue to expand our service by buying specialist motorbikes, transporting lifesaving medical supplies to hospitals in our region.
“We would strongly recommend people put forward a group that they’re passionate about.”
To get involved, submit a project or vote visit www.aviva.co.uk/community-fund. Entries open on 12th September, closing on 10th October. Voting opens on 24th October and closes on 21st November. Winners announced on 16th January 2018.
Notes to editors:
*55% answered to have supported a group in a survey taken place in 2016, 37% in 2017. Total sample size was 2082 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 22nd - 25th July 2016. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
** Respondents that have helped a community organisation in the last two years were asked: Approximately, what TOTAL additional sum of money do you think would be needed to secure the day-to-day running of this group for the next 12 months (i.e. up to September 2018)? (Please select the option that best applies). Those that selected ‘Don’t know’ (34%) were discounted, which gave the remaining population a weight of 1.52. 1.52% selected ‘Up to £50’, 3.04% selected ‘More than £50, up to £100’, 4.56% selected ‘More than £100, up to £250’, 6.08% selected ‘More than £250, up to £500’, 10.64% selected ‘More than £500, up to £1,000’, 12.16% selected ‘More than £1,000, up to £2,500’, 7.6% selected ‘More than £2,500 up to £5,000’, 10.64% selected ‘More than £5,000, up to £10,000’, 7.6% selected ‘More than £10,000, up to £25,000’, 13.68% selected ‘More than £25,000’, 21.28% selected ‘Not applicable - this local community group would not need any additional funding to secure it's day-to-day running’. Those that selected ‘Not applicable - this local community group would not need any additional funding to secure it's day-to-day running’ were included as ‘£2,500 or less’.
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About the Aviva Community Fund
The Aviva Community Fund is an initiative that lends a helping hand to local communities by offering support and funding for inspirational local causes. Projects could receive funding of from up to £1,000 up to £25,000. To get involved, submit a project or vote visit www.aviva.co.uk/community-fund.
About the survey results:
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2043 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 31st August - 1st September 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).