Brits accuse Brexit and government austerity of losing sense of community, study finds | United Kingdom | New

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Brexit divisions and lack of government funding for local initiatives have been accused of eroding the sense of unity at the local level. Local councils have suffered a 77% cut in central government funding since 2015/2016, which equates to a loss of £ 7.6 billion per year. Austerity-induced policies have significantly weakened Britain’s community spirit, with 76% of Britons saying it has suffered.

But there is some optimism at the local level, as 41 percent of the 2,000 adults surveyed by giffgaff want to get more involved in local volunteering.

And nearly half are eager to drive more positive change in their field.

Figures from the National Volunteer Council show some £ 17.1 billion was added to the economy by the voluntary sector in 2016/17 in response to government cuts.

There are five million more untapped volunteer days in the UK (based on an eight hour day), which means £ 328,400,000 could be spent in the voluntary sector in the long term.

To help these people make positive and lasting change in their community, giffgaff launched The Community Projects.

The initiative will highlight local communities across the country.

Community projects will seek out local heroes who need to celebrate.

Members of the mobile network will be able to name projects and people that make the hearts of their local communities beat faster.

A panel of experts made up of independent community leaders will select the winners who will receive funding, advice and support from giffgaff.

Ash Schofield, CEO of giffgaff, said: “It just shows that the community really is at the heart of Britain.

“Here at giffgaff, our members are at the heart of everything we do, so we want to give back to the people and groups who really make a difference.

“The Community Projects campaign will recognize and celebrate local heroes, and we want to help them make a lasting difference in their local community.”

The study also found that while one in five Britons already volunteer in their local community, 74% think it has never been more important for people to unite and help. people in need.

One in four respondents think that the sense of community has already improved in recent years.

Some 35% point to the positive effect of digital tools such as social media, messaging apps and the internet on bringing groups together in the UK.

To spark positive change, The Community Projects by giffgaff will run until August 19 and nominations can be made at giffgaff.com/community-projects


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