The public’s intention to volunteer locally has increased to 50%, according to new research.

Half of UK adults now intend to take part in local volunteering activities, both formally and informally in 2024 according to the new research from The National Lottery Community Fund.

The findings, which also suggest that one in ten plan to volunteer for the first time, are part of its annual Community Research Index, consisting of answers from over 8,000 people across the UK.

It suggests there has been a 1% increase in the public’s intention to volunteer since last year’s index, which reported that 49% intended to volunteer.

From the latest figures, the Community Research Index also reports that a majority (64%) are willing to work with others to improve their local community.

Seven in ten (72%) say it’s important to them to feel part of their local community, and six in ten (59%) say community spirit is strong where they live.

Just under half (45%) say that having an opportunity to meet people is a benefit of being part of their community.

Among those who intend to volunteer this year, food banks (30%), the environment (30%), supporting older people (29%) and working at charity shops (29%) are where they plan to focus their community-minded efforts.

A third of UK adults (32%) identify reduced poverty and deprivation as among the top three changes they would like to see for the next generation.

Others included young people having places to go and things to do, access to natural, green spaces, and community activities that bring people together.

David Knott, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Community Fund, said a “continued sense of community spirit and belonging, and a desire to be involved (including volunteering) are welcome bright spots that set the tone for the year ahead.”

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