Charity will invest half a million pounds into Doncaster’s youth to help them gain employment skills

A charity is taking on issues in Doncaster such as crime and employment to help improve the community.

By Laura Andrew
Thursday, 7th October 2021, 11:49 am

A new report published by South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation (SYCF) has revealed the four most important needs across the region after a year dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The report named Vital Sign used a combination of local knowledge and official research data to measure the vitality of the community, and has shown that crime and safety, disadvantage and inequality, work and the local economy and mental health were key themes in communities across South Yorkshire.

Ruth Willis, chief executive of SYCF, said: “We want to respond to the crisis of the pandemic and support our communities as urgently as we can.

The new report highlights areas where things need to improve in Doncaster.

“The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have exacerbated many existing societal problems yet young people have been disproportionately affected and their success in securing employment or training has such a consequence on all the issues identified in the research.

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“Our ambition is to distribute £500,000 across South Yorkshire to community organisations working with young people to boost their skills and job prospects.

“With this new funding, we can engage the wider community - individuals and businesses- to work with us and be a part of the solution to the issues that our Vital Signs reporting has identified.”

Acting on this research, SYCF are launching a dedicated themed programme to directly target the issues identified.

Chris Booth-Mayblin, chair of SYCF, said: “The findings from the research are startling and action is urgently needed.

“The top four priorities for action demonstrate the interlinking nature of society’s biggest problems and how a coordinated effort from all stakeholders is needed to effect change.

“We are imploring stakeholders and policy makers across South Yorkshire to not simply sit on the results of this research but act.

“We do not want to be reporting on the same issues in our next report.”

Data gathered through the research is used to support evidence based, locally relevant solutions to improve the quality of life at the community lever.

The findings draw awareness to the areas critically needing investment by authorities, and allow stakeholders to provide targeted intervention where it will have the most impact.

In the community survey, nearly one third of South Yorkshire residents said they do not feel safe in their local area with 50 per cent saying not enough is done to address the causes of crime.

On average, South Yorkshire has 20 more crime incidents per 1,000 people than the rest of England whilst in Doncaster there is nearly 40 more.

The four local authorities across South Yorkshire rank within the lowest 14 per cent of all local authorities in England against key deprivation indicators, which has gotten worse over the last five years.

65 per cent of people in the community survey said the gap between those with the most and those with the least has gotten noticeably wider.

Half of all the people who responded to the survey said that businesses struggle to survive in their local area.

The employment rate is on average five per cent lower in South Yorkshire than the rest of England.

Mental health was ranked as the fourth priority by communities in South Yorkshire with 60 per cent of people saying they struggled with their own mental health in the last year.

With 40 per cent of those people saying there is not a good level of professional care to support them.

The general lack of resources was stated by people to be a significant problem.

To view the report click here.

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