Our annual Community Research Index is a survey of over 8,000 adults from across the UK. It sees us ask questions on areas such as community belonging and spirit, how well people feel their community is doing, what communities need to thrive, the impact of the rising cost of living, and how communities can level up in the future
The responses give us key detail on how people think and feel about their communities, what their concerns are, and what their local ambitions are for the future. This detail can help us and policymakers to ensure our work stays current and is able to meet people’s needs, both now and going forward.
This year's results show both positivity about the opportunities available to communities, and honesty about the challenges we all face. They also show important differences between how people feel about different areas depending on their age, gender, sexuality, ethnic background, socioeconomic group, mental health and physical disability.
In this report, we share the results from our 2022/23 Community Research Index, highlighting key findings, details on people's priorities, and breakdowns between different regions and identities.
Research for this report was conducted on behalf of The National Lottery Community Fund by Savanta ComRes between 2 and 28 November 2022, speaking to 8,968 UK adults weighted to be representative of UK adults by gender, age, region, socioeconomic grade and ethnicity.
Young people (18-34) are more likely to feel part of their community than those aged over 35, are more likely to think this is important, and are the most likely age group to say they intend to volunteer this year.
Food banks (42%), supporting older people (35%) and supporting young people (25%) were among the most popular areas chosen by people who intend to volunteer, showing that communities recognise where support is most needed.
More people (42%) felt the COVID-19 pandemic had strengthened community spirit than weakened it (18%), demonstrating how we come together to get through times of crisis.
People tended to think their communities were doing well compared to others in terms of, among other areas, education facilities (72%), community spaces (71%), quality of life (70%) and wellbeing (62%). This shows us that communities across the UK see positives and strengths in their local areas, in spite of the challenges 2023 may bring.
Support with the rising cost of living is one of people’s main priorities for this year. They expect food banks, financial advice charities and housing services to be in demand. Most also said they’ve already cut their own spending, more than a third (41%) have gone without heating, three in ten (28%) have skipped meals, and a quarter (25%) have borrowed money from friends or family.