- Year of publication
- Together We Help
The final report for Together We Help is now available and shines a light on the power of communities to mobilise and initiate social action in response to the issues that matter to them.
Key findings 60% of participants got involved in social action because they felt compelled to “do their part” and help their communities.
Almost 1 in 3 got involved in social action efforts after hearing about it from a friend or neighbour.
The most common social action efforts were food distribution/collection, grocery or prescription pick-ups for neighbours and befriending or “checking-in” with isolating/ shielding neighbours.
A third of participants were new to volunteering in their communities.
44% of participants were also getting social action support (e.g. through a foodbank).
51% of participants felt there was an increase in community frustration at ongoing inequality.
64% felt there was a reduction in stigma in coming forward for support.
Participants emphasised the need to not view social action through “rose-tinted glasses” but to understand that many social action interventions are a direct result of poverty, exclusion and inequality.
Respondents stated that mental wellbeing had declined and that mental health needed to be a local priority. In particular, they highlighted multiple experiences of providing voluntary support whilst encountering their neighbours at their most vulnerable and at-risk due to declining mental wellbeing yet not knowing how to respond or appropriately help.
Respondents explained that they felt empowered by supporting their communities but equally disempowered by the impact of inequality and feeling that their communities were being overlooked.
Participants wanted to see more local decision making and co-production which included their communities and a diverse cross-section of Scotland.
Respondents stated that their communities responded with impressive speed, innovation and empathy.
The majority of social action efforts galvanised support online or through smartphone apps. As such, digital exclusion and digital literacy were identified as key concerns.
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