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Charity, Covid and Community

by Michael Ford last modified 25 Sep, 2020 10:32 PM

A Christian Aid survey shows that the pandemic has inspired an increase in community spirit across the South West.

Charity, Covid and Community

Harnham's Covid Lockdown Declutter Sale raised £1,718

A survey into local and global community showed that 43% of adults across the South West of England had an increased sense of community spirit in their neighbourhood since the start of lockdown, Christian Aid has revealed.

In the survey by Savanta ComRes*, commissioned by the aid and development charity, a further 28% of adults across the South West said they felt more part of a global community than before the virus outbreak began.

The survey results are launched as Christian Aid is encouraging people this autumn to come together within their local communities, in line with restrictions, to help those worldwide who have been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Charity, Covid and Community- Socially-distanced seed collection in South Sudan
Socially-distanced seed collection in South Sudan

Half (50%) of all Christian adults questioned in the poll across the UK said they felt there had been an increase in community spirit in their neighbourhood and 31% reported feeling more part of a global community.

Responding to the poll findings, Christian Aid’s church engagement and fundraising officer for Wiltshire, Yvonne Penn, says:

“Covid-19 may have forced us to physically separate, but connection and community have been huge themes this year.

“It’s exciting to see the increases in sense of both local and global identity across the South West. Covid-19 is a shared experience wherever we live in the world, but what our supporters know is that the impact on families and communities is drastically different. So many people have been left without any income and have no access to good hygiene and healthcare.

“Churches across the diocese have had to find new ways of staying connected and being church and have shown remarkable adaptability. This autumn we are encouraging churches and neighbours across Wiltshire and Dorset to help their global neighbour by celebrating, whether digitally or in person, the community they have locally in a fundraising event such as a ‘Bake and Brew’.”

The survey also showed that across the South West, only 5% of adults felt a decreased sense of community spirit in their neighbourhood and 15% ‘didn’t know’.

Yvonne continues:

“It has been a tough time, but what we see over and over again is how when we come together to help people who have been forced into desperate situations and stand together with them, then that connection blesses us and helps re-energise our own lives, churches and community.

“I hope we can make a real difference in the lives of neighbours near and far this autumn.”

Christian Aid is responding to the coronavirus outbreak in Africa, as well as in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. It is working together with partners and faith leaders to inform people about the risks, offering vital hygiene training, equipping health facilities with supplies, and providing food packages and soap to the most marginalised families.

More information here.

*Savanta ComRes interviewed 2,315 UK adults online between 4th and 7th September 2020, including 183 in the South West of England. Data were weighted to be nationally representative of all UK adults by key demographic characteristics including age, gender, region and social grade. Savanta ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full tables at

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