Social participation

Social participation is the extent of people's involvement and interaction with others in their local communities, neighbourhood and wider society. Many factors can influence social participation, including the facilities and resources available in the community or neighbourhood and the ease by which people can access them. Lancashire County Council's Community Projects team works with Lancashire residents to support projects to strengthen communities and improve health and wellbeing. The project activity report (2018/19) {see panel at foot of page} have further details on the work of the Community Projects team and some of the communities it has worked with. 

Key findings for Lancashire-12

With regards to facilities and resources, the Living in Lancashire survey (wave 33) asked panel members what is most important in making somewhere a good place to live. Respondents rated access to nature (38.5%), parks and open spaces (33.1%), cultural facilities (19.4%), community activities (18.9%) and sports and leisure facilities (17.2%) as the most important. Over three quarters (77%) of panel members were satisfied with parks and open spaces in their local area, compared to 9% who were dissatisfied. For leisure facilities 56% were satisfied, with 16% dissatisfied.

Participation in volunteering is another indicator of social capital within communities. Participation in volunteering displays a clear social gradient (Wave 44, see in panel below for graph to download), with people in the most deprived areas less likely to volunteer (23.4%) in comparison to those in the least deprived areas (30.4%). However, whilst people in deprived areas of Lancashire are less likely to be involved in volunteering, in some districts volunteering is higher than expected, including in Burnley (31.8%) and Lancaster (34.8%). Preston (18.4%) and South Ribble (21.8%) have the lowest rates in the county (source: Living in Lancashire wave 44).

In December 2020 the Charity Commission listed a total of 3,451 charities operating in the Lancashire-12 area, 329 in Blackburn with Darwen and 254 in Blackpool. This number emphasises the significant requirement for volunteer time and financial resources required to run them. The charity and voluntary organisation report for Lancashire-12, downloadable from panel below, has further details.

The Living in Lancashire leisure and culture report (download below) gives detailed views of Lancashire's citizens' panel on leisure and cultural services, including libraries, museums and the arts.

Queen's Awards for Voluntary Service

The Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service is the highest honour that can be bestowed upon voluntary groups. In total, 60 voluntary organisations in the Lancashire-12 area have won this prestigious award since its inception in 2003. A further five voluntary organisations in the Blackburn with Darwen unitary authority area have received awards and five more in the Blackpool unitary authority area since 2003. The latest awards for 2020 include seven in the Lancashire-12 area. Please see the report below for a complete list of Lancashire award winners.

Further analysis

Community Projects Team Activity Report (2018/19) (PDF 1.8 MB)

Participation in volunteering, deprivation quintile graph (PDF 170)

Participation in volunteering, district graph (PDF 174 KB)

Charity and voluntary organisation report (PDF 595 KB)

Living in Lancashire leisure and culture report (PDF 240 KB)

Queen's Awards for Voluntary Service, 2020 (PDF 767 KB) 

Page updated December 2020