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Vital Signs

Vital Signs are reports that are produced annually in various regions of the country to act as guides to local charitable giving by measuring social trends and issues.

They pull together existing research and combine this with a community consultation, to gain a full picture of the issues in particular regions.

Vital Signs 2015

On October 6, 2015, community foundations across the UK joined foundations around the world to release their Vital Signs reports - taking the social temperature of their local communities and finding out what issues really matter to residents.

13 community foundations were involved this year, releasing 14 reports between them. You can find out more about each foundation and their dedicated Vital Signs reports by clicking on the links below:

Vital Signs 2014

Local Vital Signs reports from 2014, launched on October 7th, can be found for Berkshire, Cambridgeshire, the East End of London, Essex, Hampshire and Isle of Wight, Lancashire and Merseyside, Milton Keynes, Northern Ireland and Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.

Read the 2014 launch press release here

Read the 2014 fact sheet here

About Vital Signs

Vital Signs was launched in the UK in 2013. A generous donation to the pilot from the Hazelhurst Trust enabled access to UK statistical data from Local Futures, a consultancy specialising in the mapping of social and economic data, to support the first stage of the Vital Signs reporting. This is the third year that UKCF has run the Vital Signs initiative, which started life in sister community foundations in Canada, 27 of which also published their own reports on the same day. A steering group of community foundations from across the UK has led the pilot, with advice from Community Foundations for Canada.

Nick Hurd MP, Former Minister for Civil Society, said: “Vital Signs encourages giving and helps to ensure that donations target the most pressing issues a community is facing. I wish community foundations every success.”

Vital Signs in the UK is based on the Canadian model but has been adapted to our particular circumstances. It provides a guide for local giving, fulfilling community foundations’ role as a facilitator of community philanthropy by enabling them to:

  • increase the effectiveness of social investment in communities, including grant-making;
  • ensure community philanthropists are informed about issues and opportunities in the community, so that their philanthropy makes a true difference;
  • facilitate collaboration between individuals and groups to address social issues;
  • guide the work of community leaders, residents, organisations, policy makers, public bodies and the private sector

There are ten local themes:

  • Arts, Culture and Heritage
  • Environment
  • Fairness
  • Healthy Living
  • Housing and Homelessness
  • Learning
  • Local Economy
  • Safety
  • Strong Communities
  • Work

Each theme is graded and this indicates whether there is a need for action.

020 7713 9326

UK Community Foundations Registered office: 12 Angel Gate, 320-326 City Road, London, EC1V 2PT Company registration number 2651777, registered in England and Wales. Registered charity number 1004630

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