Residents of South Yorkshire are being encouraged to have their say on the issues which matter most in their communities by taking part in a key research project.

Vital Signs has been designed and developed by South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation (SYCF) to improve the lives of people across Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.

Members of the public can answer questions about their local area linked to ten key themes: Stronger Communities, Work and the Local Economy, Education and Learning, Disadvantage and Inequality, Housing and Homelessness, Crime and Safety, Arts and Heritage, Natural Environment, Healthy Living and Mental Health.

The survey results will feed into SYCF’s Vital Signs research - a ‘health-check’ which identifies the hidden needs and priorities of local communities across the region.

Michelle Dickinson, Head of Philanthropy and Programmes at SYCF, the region’s largest grant giving charity, said:

The response to our Vital Signs survey has been fantastic so far, but we’re still keen to hear from even more local people.

The results will give us an accurate view on where our funds should be directed and support us to provide targeted interventions to tackle critical issues affecting our communities.


Vital Signs is carried out by South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation every three years. The results from the 2021 project specifically highlighted issues facing young people getting into work or training.

Since 1986, South Yorkshire's Community Foundation has made grants of more than £37 million to local groups, individuals, charities and organisations across the region.

The survey closing date is Sunday, 7 July 2024, at 9pm.

To complete the 2024 Vital Signs survey online, click here.

For more information visit our Vital Signs page.


The top four priorities identified by local people in the last Vital Signs survey (2021):

  • Crime and safety

  • Disadvantage and equality

  • Work and the local economy

  • Mental health

Meet Rachael

Rachael coordinates the delivery of philanthropic activities, working collaboratively within different teams, community groups and donors to bring about exciting new opportunities. She is also head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) for the Foundation as well as overseeing South Yorkshire’s Giving Network. Her working days are Monday to Friday.

Rachael Farrell

Philanthropy Coordinator

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Rachael Farrell