The North West’s leading philanthropy hub, the Community Foundation for Merseyside has today published a report unveiling 38% of communities across the City Region rate community spirit as strong. However, the report also unveils people living in City Region have one of the lowest life expectancy rates in England - 3.3 years behind England’s best, Surrey - and levels of happiness are below the national average.
The Community Foundation for Merseyside’s charitable giving guide report, called Vital Signs, follows the examination and extensive research into social and economic trends within our communities, including a local public consultation. It is launched today with 17 other reports in the UK and around 40 in Canada as a global initiative.
Vital Signs aims annually to provide the most up-to-date information on community priorities to enable people and businesses to give to the most pressing social issues and to support community aspirations, especially at a time of continued austerity. This is supported by one Merseyside resident who responded to the survey by saying: “It is high time funding was more available to organisations at a grass roots level.”
Vital Signs, which has been laid before a number of community and business leaders from across the region today at a launch in Liverpool’s Tate Gallery, looks at how it can be used as a unique charitable giving guide to encourage local people and businesses to make a difference in their local communities via charitable donations, volunteering and in-kind support.
Some of the findings highlighted by Vital Signs 2016 are:
This year the Community Foundation aspires to encourage the City Region’s passionate and pro-active business community to play its part to building stronger communities together. It will work with businesses across the City Region to promote corporate social responsibility and corporate philanthropy to tackle the concerns and issues raised in the annual Vital Signs Report. In beginning this work the Interim Chair of the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Asif Hamid, is supporting Vital Signs’ launch today at Liverpool Tate.
Cathy Elliott, Chief Executive of the Community Foundation for Merseyside said: “The findings of this year’s Vital Signs report provide pause for thought and offer a clear indication of the issues our community is facing. It shines a light on the concerns and fears that require attention and provides an impetus for action.
“While wonderful work by a host of community organisations is underway, there is a tremendous need in our area which we have only seen grow in recent years. Therefore, we want to engage the wider community – individuals and businesses - to work with us and be a part of the solution that answers the call in today’s Vital Signs report”
Chris Bliss, Estate Director of Liverpool ONE and LEP Board member, is a supporter of the Community Foundation for Merseyside, and said: “Running our business responsibly is vital to our people and our customers. It is all about sustainability for us – a move from worrying about the next quarter’s financial results to the impact business decisions today have on financial and social results years from now.
“Vital Signs in an integral part of this in our work with the Community Foundation, helping us to partner with good causes that match our own vision and values, supporting us in our drive to be a responsible organisation. Through targeted local grants, funded with the support of organisations such as Liverpool ONE, the Community Foundation for Merseysidehas made major strides towards tackling some of the top local issues.”
Further information about Vital Signs and ways to give to support community projects in the City Region can be found at: www.cfmerseyside.org.uk/knowledge/vital-signs-2016
For media enquiries please contact James McMahon on 07967019030