The findings reveal that mental and physical health, high levels of deprivation, visible homelessness and personal safety for South Yorkshire residents are the topmost concerns.
The research combines a community consultation with local people to find out what they think are the top needs for their area, with the latest statistics nationally and from local authorities.
The latest report also shows that health, deprivation and homelessness have stayed in the top four need areas that need to be addressed for the last two years.
Chief Executive of SYCF, Ruth Willis said:
“This year’s report shows that we are experiencing issues in our communities that are widespread and concerning to local residents across South Yorkshire.
“Now that the report has launched, we can put our energies into raising awareness of these findings and looking at how SYCF and the wider community can better address these issues.”
Key findings include:
– All local authority areas in South Yorkshire have a higher percentage of those with a limiting long-term illness than the national average. Barnsley has the highest levels whilst in comparison Sheffield has the lowest.
– Nearly 90,000 children are classed as living in poverty with Sheffield and Barnsley reported to have the highest numbers.
– Rough sleeping across Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield has increased substantially according to the street counts reported by each local authority since last year.
– South Yorkshire currently ranks 14th highest out of 55 counties in terms of volume of antisocial behaviour.
A survey participant said:
“There is an unease which is increasing due to the levels of crime and antisocial behaviour within the area. People do not feel safe, cuts are devastating services.”
“I am on pension credit and the housing benefit does not cover the cost of my rent. I would like to apply for social housing but need references from landlord whom I do not want to know that I am looking to leave. Vicious circle!”
The Vital Signs reports are commissioned by South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation, a local, long standing charity which improves the lives of local people, through grant giving into communities.
“To create real change in our communities we need to act strategically with our grant making to ensure that we are having the most impact and working towards long term positive change.
“We are encouraging local businesses, community organisations, charities and public bodies to get in touch with us, as by working together we can have so much more impact.”
Since last year’s findings, SYCF has distributed over £869,287 to local community groups and charities tackling the issues identified in the Vital Signs report for 2017-18. The grant funding benefitted a total of 238,975 people across South Yorkshire.