How does your community compare to others across the country?

Date: 15 November 2019

New analysis from The Young Foundation paints a unique picture of community strength across the country, and shows the pattern of places that continue to be under-funded by the philanthropic, charitable and public sectors.

The report finds that many areas of the country, despite very low levels of funding, show signs of enormous community strength and whilst investment from public, charitable and philanthropic sources is high in many places, this doesn’t automatically translate into stronger communities.

As well as reading the report, you can search your local area and its strength relative to others at

This new research builds on The Young Foundations 2018 Patchwork Philanthropy report which mapped patterns of philanthropic and charitable spending across England against deprivation, public spending and the EU Referendum result. That report concluded that a lack of public and philanthropic investment into some communities correlated significantly with the vote to leave the EU.

This new report, entitled ‘Flipping the Coin: The two sides of community wealth in England’, sets out for the first time, a new way of measuring community strength; bringing together a stack of national indicators (such as the number of outdoor activities, community transport schemes, community owned assets, social businesses and community kitchens etc) as a way of determining the strength of a community.

“Flipping the coin” analysis shows that:

  • There is a continued, significant correlation between low levels of funding from philanthropic and public sectors and a vote to leave the European Union
  • But high levels of philanthropic, public and charitable spending does not equate to community strength. E.g. outer London and parts of the SE commuter belt rank as some of the lowest levels of community activity in the country.
  • Continuous blocs of urbanised areas continue to suffer from low or very low amounts of funding in Lancashire, the Midlands and across the East coast of England.
  • Strong communities thrive in some of the most deprived districts in England, yet are notably absent in some of the least deprived.
  • Community strength is particularly high in rural parts of the West Country and East Anglia, and much lower in cities and suburban areas across the country.

Helen Goulden, Chief Executive of The Young Foundation said:

“The ability and capacity for a community to connect and act together is essential for our long-term future, whether we’re seeking to tackle loneliness, flooding or any number of social issues that affect us in our neighbourhoods. “Flipping the Coin” gives the first picture of community strength across England, based on a range of data that has never been brought together before. Combined with patterns of public and philanthropic spending, gives us both hyper local and national insights, useful to anyone interested in place-making, stronger towns – or communities who have been over-looked for too long.”

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About The Young Foundation

The Young Foundation is a charity focussed on creating connected and more sustainable communities in the UK. We care about what matters to communities and our programmes concentrate on issues such as improving health and wellbeing, transforming education and housing and developing social entrepreneurship.

We are an UKRI accredited research institute. We work nationally, regionally and locally in alliance with our many partners and funders.

Since 1954, we have developed and created over 80 organisations to target unmet social needs, including: Which?, The Open University, Language Line, Social Innovation Exchange, School for Social Entrepreneurs, Uprising and Action for Happiness.