Local people speak out on local needs

Local people speak out on local needs

11:49 31 January in Member News

A recent report by local charity South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation (SYCF) has revealed the key issues affecting local communities, as identified by local residents.

The Vital Signs Report 2017 was commissioned to draw attention to the everyday issues affecting local people, to showcase work that is already being done in South Yorkshire and to raise awareness, so more targeted efforts can be made to tackle these problems.

The report combines the views of almost 600 local people with local and national statistics to create a well-rounded picture of South Yorkshire and to empower the public to get engaged in shaping the future of the communities they live in.

Key findings include:

  • Four local priorities considered to be greatest priority by local residents in South Yorkshire: employment and local economy, strong communities, education and learning and housing and homelessness
  • South Yorkshire has a lower number of 16-64 year olds in employment than the average around the UK (70% vs 75% across the UK)
  • South Yorkshire had the second highest rate of hate crime incidents in the Yorkshire and Humber region
  • All four local authority areas (Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster) have a higher percentage of workless households than the national average of 15%


SYCF also identified positive areas where South Yorkshire is performing above the national average:

  • Percentage of pupils under 16 achieving 5 or more GCSEs of A* – C is higher in South Yorkshire than the rest of the UK
  • South Yorkshire has relatively affordable housing compared to the rest of England and Wales


SYCF has also utilised the report to better identify the effectiveness of its own work in the region. The grant-making charity found that the biggest proportion of funding awarded to community groups is already supporting the key areas identified by the public.

Research Officer at SYCF, Sonia Bielaszewska said:
“This report highlights local need as experienced by local people. These views are invaluable in helping us do better as a charity dedicated to improving South Yorkshire communities, but also to enable us to spread awareness of local issues, which are always changing.

“With this report, we can create more awareness and engagement and we can provide more targeted support and really make a difference in people’s lives. We are also encouraging local businesses, philanthropists and public bodies to get in touch with us, as by working together we can have so much more impact.”

Since October 2016 SYCF has distributed over £720,000 to local community groups and charities tackling the issues identified in the Vital Signs report for 2017. The charity will continue the reporting in 2018, to keep spreading awareness and engagement in local needs,

For the full report, go to www.sycf.org.uk/vitalsigns/

kirsty arnold

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