Despite the many challenges it has brought, the COVID-19 pandemic has renewed interest in local community life in the UK. At a time when many are asking how we can build upon this community spirit, this report examines the meaning of community. The CSJ conducted a representative survey of 5,000 people to examine what people want from their communities, how satisfied people are with them, and who people feel is responsible for taking them forward. It examines the results by looking at demographic correlations, and presents an index which estimates and maps the strength of community across the UK. The map data is available here.
The report shows how people feel thriving communities offer security, connection, and belonging. It offers suggestions for policy areas for strengthening community life across the UK including rolling out Family Hubs, transforming high streets into social ‘Hub Streets’, and encouraging mentorship schemes. The report also shows how local charities can play an invaluable role in local communities to tackle poverty by developing trusting relationships embedded in local areas.