Living in Lancashire wave 30

New Search

Purpose To look at views on local neighbourhoods, participation in local issues, social networks, volunteering and giving unpaid help.
Subject Community and voluntary sector
Community engagement
Other topic
Commissioned by Corporate Research and Intelligence Team, Policy Unit
Geographic area All of Lancashire
Method Questionnaire - online
Questionnaire - postal
Consultation with Life in Lancashire panel
Date 08/09/2010 - 15/10/2010
Undertaken by Corporate Research and Intelligence Team, Policy Unit


Number in sample 4111
Number of responses 2828
Response rate 68%
Key findings Three quarters of respondents agreed that the friendships and associations they have in their neighbourhood were important to them (74%). A similar proportion indicated they would be likely to stay in their neighbourhood for a number of years (77%). Two thirds of respondents stated that they are happy to think of themselves as similar to the other residents in their neighbourhood (70%). Together, these measures indicate that most people are satisfied with their neighbourhoods and local areas.

Respondents' views of what facilities and services are important closely matched those that are available in their local area, and those that they have used in the last 12 months. This suggests the provision of local services and facilities is about right.

A quarter of respondents stated that they couldn't go to their neighbours for advice (23%). A small proportion of respondents stated that they never meet up with relatives or friends (approximately 2%). A similar number of respondents do not have anybody they could ask if they were ill in bed and needed help around the home or needed financial assistance (approximately 2%). These figures indicate there is a small proportion of the Lancashire population which currently does not receive the support it needs.

Over half of respondents disagreed that they could influence decisions affecting their local area, while three quarters felt that it is important to be involved in these decisions (54% and 77% respectively). Three quarters of respondents stated that they would be willing to work together on something to improve their neighbourhood, while a half felt that people help each other (71% and 56% respectively). Nearly half of respondents reported that they had taken some form of action in the last 12 months to solve a problem affecting people in their local area (46%).

Higher socio-economic groups were more likely to have volunteered in the last 12 months, so are the group most likely to participate in 'Big Society' initiatives.
Outcomes Relationships in your neighbourhood, your social networks, volunteering and unpaid help that you give to others are all part of what we call 'social capital'. Social capital has many definitions but it is generally concerned with the level of social relations within a particular community which can be used to create productive benefits by and for that community. In other words, communities working together to create and deliver services for themselves.

The Living in Lancashire survey gave us the opportunity to look at how much, if at all, social capital already exists within Lancashire. Overall, it would appear that social capital is relatively strong in Lancashire although there are significant differences between different areas.

The survey showed that there is a desire for people to be part of social networks but worryingly 25% of people don't meet regularly with friends or relatives and 33% of people who responded often feel lonely. To tackle this, we are developing a project that involves major supermarkets playing a more active role in the community with everything from supported shopping and providing transport for community groups to supermarkets acting as a community facility to allow people to interact with others.

Project document(s)



Contact information

For more information about this research contact:

Melissa Sherliker
01772 535019