AN EXTENSIVE consultation with communities throughout Lancashire has uncovered people’s most pressing issues, fears and hopes.
The Vital Signs guide, published on October 1, by the Community Foundation for Lancashire, contains the detailed regional findings of one of the largest social consultation exercises ever carried out in the region and is the county’s first giving guide.
Lancashire’s Vital Signs is part of the wider Community Foundation project that is managing the simultaneous release of more than 40 local reports in the UK and Canada. Vital Signs has also been released in Ireland and Brazil.
The report shows that the top three concerns in West Lancashire are the environment, the state of education and learning in the area, and the future for children, young people and families.
The emphasis on the environment reflects a mixed picture for West Lancs, which contains the Ribble Estuary, one of the most important sites for bird life in Europe. This leads to the district having a large amount of Green Belt land. Despite this large amount of Green Belt land, at 8.5 tonnes it has the third highest CO2 emissions per person in Lancashire, above the national average of 7.6.
Three out four people in West Lancs travel to work by car, significantly above the national rate of 62.6%, showing the district’s rural nature is having an adverse effect on its CO2 emissions.
The purpose of Vital Signs is to help community philanthropists, businesses and charitably-minded people focus their giving where it can do the most good – whether their intention is to address disadvantage, bring people in communities closer together or improve local quality of life.
Cathy Elliott, chief executive of Community Foundations for Lancashire and Merseyside said: “Vital Signs has given a real and immediate insight into West Lancashire’s communities, an insight we hope will guide giving.
“There is a huge need for philanthropic and charitable support at this time across Lancashire.
“As a major grant-maker and funder in the area we are currently only able to fund 30% of the requests we receive each year from residents, community groups, charities and social businesses.
“These organisations have limited resources, though the ability to make life changing differences to their communities. We hope Vital Signs will drive new funding and support to these excellent organisations.”
More details on Vital Signs can be obtained by visiting: www.lancsvitalsigns.org.uk.