Community spirit and support for neighbours, friends and family remained as strong as ever during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, despite its negative impact across the country, new figures from a major Government annual survey have suggested today.
The latest Community Life Survey, surveyed more than 10,900 adults across England during different periods of lockdown measures between April 2020 to March 2021. The full survey results can be foundhere.
During a year where so many sacrifices were made in order to prevent the spread of the virus, it found that 95% of adults surveyed felt that they had people who were there for them if they needed help, matching the result from last year’s survey. 93% also felt that if they wanted company or to socialise there were people they could call.
Despite the inevitable decrease in the proportion of people formally volunteering, dropping down to an all-time low of 17% doing it at least once a month, there was an increase in the proportion of people informally volunteering with acts of kindness to support their community.
33% of respondents had volunteered informally at least once a month, which is the highest percentage on record, as people have helped one another across communities from getting a neighbour’s shopping and prescriptions, to looking after a friend’s children.
Other results from the Community Life Survey show that 65% of people feel that people in their neighbourhood pull together to improve the local area, showing the strength of local communities.
The Community Life Survey is a nationally representative annual survey of adults aged 16 and over in England that provides statistics on behaviours and attitudes that inform policy and action, commissioned by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
James is the Editor of Government Transformation magazine, and has been covering digital government and public sector reform for 20 years. He also oversees the development of the agenda for the UK's biggest public sector transformation conference.