Let's keep the community spirit going after lockdown ends

Monday, 1st June 2020, 5:35 pm
Updated Monday, 1st June 2020, 5:35 pm

More than two thirds of Brits are pledging to do more in their local area when the coronavirus pandemic ends.

The pandemic and the subsequent lockdown in the UK has placed huge emphasis on communities coming together to help each other, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, many of whom have been forced to stay at home shielding since March.

And a new survey of 2,000 UK adults revealed 68 per cent don’t want to lose the renewed sense of community spirit in their area.

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It also emerged 57 per cent of people think their neighbours and nearby organisations have been looking out for one another in a time of need.

Social media has played an important role in coordinating local action during lockdown, with 19 per cent aware of new chat groups in their area and one in ten joining a community WhatsApp group.

Another one in eight have had a letter posted through their door offering help or a phone call from neighbours.

To help those in need, Power to Change has teamed up with 11 other leading community organisations, including Locality and Co-operative UK, to launch My Community - a new digital platform that brings together tools and resources to help local people find support and take positive community action.

It has been launched at a time when community groups and organisations across the UK have provided essential support, often serving as a lifeline for those most in need.

Examples include The Feed, a not-for-profit social enterprise providing catering services in Norwich.

The community business, which exists to prevent poverty, hunger, and homelessness, has produced and delivered more than 2,200 food parcels to people across the city.

Another example is in Bristol where BS3 Community Development has seen a huge surge in community support, with more than 1,100 volunteers signing up to help their response to the crisis and provide vital care to those that need it most.

Dawn Lockhart, from BS3 Community Development, said: “At this time of huge uncertainty it’s been truly humbling to see people in the community coming together to protect the most vulnerable.

“Quite often people want to make a difference locally but don’t know where to start.

“My Community provides that starting point and enables local people to act for themselves on the issues they care about.

“The My Community platform is great because it can help harness this huge surge in amazing activism and community support.”

The research also found a quarter of Brits (26 per cent) are worried that vulnerable people in their community don’t know where to go for support, while 18 per cent believe there is a lack of community resources in their area.

The My Community platform aims to help people access the information they need about the support options available while encouraging people to come together and make a difference in their local area.

Click here for details.