Survey Reveals Deprivation and Homelessness as Local Top Concerns

16th October 2018

The second annual report by local charity South Yorkshire's Community Foundation (SYCF) surveyed local people for their opinions and experiences of community needs.

Combined with the latest statistics nationally and from local authorities, the Vital Signs report 2018 reveals high levels of deprivation, visible homelessness and lack of affordable housing for South Yorkshire residents as top concerns. The report also identified Strong Communities (i.e. life satisfaction, loneliness levels) and Healthy Living as the other top priorities. Research Officer, Sonia Bielaszewska said: -This year's report reveals a definite shift in priorities since last year, with deprivation and healthy living overtaking educations and employment as top need areas. -Now that the report has launched, we can put our energies into raising awareness of the findings and looking at how SYCF and the wider community can better address these issues. Key findings include: Barnsley is experiencing the highest levels of overall deprivation in South Yorkshire, shortly followed by Doncaster, Rotherham and then Sheffield. All areas are performing at least 5% below the national average. 22% of children in South Yorkshire are classed as living in poverty. The proportion of people living in socially rented accommodation in South Yorkshire is 4% higher than the national average at 22%. Sheffield residents have the lowest levels of 'sense of belonging' in the region, which is four times the national average. Life expectancy is one year lower than the national average for both men and women, with the lowest levels found in Rotherham. A survey participant said: -Too many communities suffer high levels of economic and social deprivation. Sometimes in Sheffield, it feels like two cities - one part prosperous and then you step over an invisible line and there's bleak poverty. The Vital Signs reports are commissioned by South Yorkshire's Community Foundation, a local, long standing charity which improves the lives of local people, through grant giving into communities. Sonia continued: -With these reports, we can be smart about how we work and where we can have the most impact. "Not only does this mean we ensure that we are doing the best we can for local people, we can create more awareness of these high need areas also. -We are encouraging local businesses, community organisations, charities and public bodies to get in touch with us, as by working together we can have so much more impact. Since last year's findings, SYCF has distributed over £725,000 to local community groups and charities tackling the issues identified in the Vital Signs report for 2016-17. For the full report, go to www.sycf.org.uk/vitalsigns/

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