Groundwork UK has been exploring the landscape for community groups in 2019.
Up and down the UK, people are getting together and making things happen in their communities. From community gardens to youth clubs, Friends of Parks groups to local sports clubs, people give up their time to improve the quality of life in their neighbourhood. While the government’s Civil Society Strategy says that it wants people to be empowered to take responsibility for their neighbourhoods, it pays little attention to the voices and needs of community groups who are doing just that.
So Groundwork set out to address three questions:
- What motivates people to get involved in action in their communities?
- What benefits are realised as a result of community action?
- What support and resources are needed to enable communities to take action in their local area?
What did the report show? More than anything, the responses emphasised the enormous benefits that can be achieved by local people working together: improved mental and physical wellbeing, the creation of new connections between neighbours who would otherwise rarely cross paths, and greater engagement in local decision making outside the group came up time and time again. While groups had often been set up with one aim in mind, they were invariably impacting on multiple issues.
Graham Duxbury, Chief Executive of Groundwork UK said, “As we navigate uncertain times, harnessing the assets of passion, pride and knowledge that already exists in local areas – and investing in the people and groups that can drive change – will help ensure that no area is ‘left behind’ when it comes to having strong and resilient communities.”
To read the full report from Groundwork UK follow this link.