• Survey reveals deprivation and homelessness as top local concerns

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    October 18, 2018
    The second annual report by 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 Doncaster residents and across South Yorkshire 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: 
    • Doncaster is experiencing the second highest levels of overall deprivation in South Yorkshire, followed by Rotherham and then Sheffield, with Barnsley in first. All areas are performing at least 5% below the national average. 
    • Doncaster residents are most likely to experience loneliness at the age of 65. 
    • Doncaster has the lowest levels of child obesity at 18.9%, which is 0.5% lower than the national average of 19.4%. 
    • Life expectancy is one year lower than the national average for both men and women, with the lowest levels found in Rotherham. 
    • 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%. 

    A survey participant said: 

    “There is too much poor quality housing, too many bad private landlords and not enough affordable social housing provision- it would be good to see more ‘not for profit’ provision.” 

    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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