As the UK economy takes tentative steps to recover, a new report* by Ecclesiastical Insurance undertaken by CEBR has revealed community organisations are projected to be worth £27.5 billion to the UK in 2013. This is an increase of 3.6% from £26.5 billion in 2012.
The Community Census Report, commissioned by specialist charity and heritage insurer Ecclesiastical to examine the impact community organisations it insures have in the UK, reveals that this increase by £1 billion to £27.5 billion in contribution to the economy is equivalent to 1.7% of total GDP.
The report, which examines the specific roles voluntary groups and charities, religious bodies and heritage properties and sites play, reveals voluntary organisations are projected to contribute almost £18 billion this year. At the same time the heritage and tourism sector is estimated to contribute a further £9.6 billion.
Further research from the Community Census Report suggests that it might be young people’s involvement that has helped spearhead the growth over the last year, with 18 – 34 year olds being the most active age group in their local communities. One in five 18 – 34 year olds (3 million young adults) attend or support at least one of their local charities, religious groups or heritage properties –a greater proportion than any other generation.
Over the coming 12 months it is 18 – 34 year olds that are reporting a particular interest in increasing their involvement amongst community organisations, with 35% stating this to be the case. These findings come at a time when it is increasingly challenging for young people to establish themselves on the career ladder. At the same time unemployment in the UK hasn’t fallen for nearly 12 months and approximately one fifth of 18 – 24 year olds are unemployed, while even among university graduates the number of those unemployed or working in jobs for which they are overqualified remains high.
The Community Census Report further revealed that for 18 – 34 year olds, acquiring new knowledge or skills is a much more important aspect of community involvement than it is for older generations. This is particularly true for heritage sites, with 45% of young people report learning new things as a reason for attendance.
For more information, please see the full press release.