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Community

The information on this page was compiled before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has had a significant impact on many aspects of daily life.  Data and intelligence are emerging all the time about the effects of the virus and the measures taken to control its spread.  Accordingly, we will update this page as relevant information becomes available.

Living in a supportive community is an important prerequisite to enjoying a safe, healthy and fulfilling life, but for a variety of reasons not all communities enjoy the same levels of cohesion and integration and some also experience multiple deprivations. 

In a world where globalization, rapid social, technological, environmental and demographic change is transforming everyday life, community has frequently been perceived as breaking down or being under threat.  In the years of austerity that followed the financial crisis of 2007-8 and the consequent pressure on local services such concerns heightened. 

However, in recent years, there has also been a growing recognition that although disadvantaged communities have a range of complex and inter-related needs, all communities have assets that can help strengthen community resilience and social cohesion and improve, or protect, people's health and well-being.  At a time of fiscal restraint and increasing demand, identifying and making effective use of these assets to promote self-supporting communities is an integral part of a strengths-based approach to commissioning public services. 

Market Position Statement (MPS)

For information about supply and demand of adult care and support needs across Herefordshire, see the Market Position Statement, which is available to download from the main Herefordshire Council website. An online repository of market related data is currently under development, which will be made available here in the Community section of this website.

Armed Forces community

Herefordshire’s Armed Forces community represents a significant part of our population, particularly when factoring in spouses, family members and carers. Around 25% of the whole population of Herefordshire are thought to have some connection to the military.

Armed Forces community in Herefordshire

Community Wellbeing Survey 2021

In late 2020 Herefordshire Council commissioned DJS Research to deliver two waves of a Community Wellbeing Survey across the county to provide the data and intelligence needed to inform the ongoing delivery of Talk Community.

The first wave of the survey was completed in early 2021.  In all, 1,100 telephone interviews were conducted with Herefordshire residents and the survey is one of the most important pieces of primary social research undertaken in the county in the past decade.  

Results of the survey

Digital exclusion

Digital exclusion can contribute to loneliness, as well as making it difficult to access information and services and secure employment. It is estimated that around 7% of people in Herefordshire used the internet more than three months ago or have never used the internet, however we know that nationally the percentage is much higher among elderly and disabled people.

Digital exclusion in Herefordshire

Fuel poverty

Fuel poverty is a significant problem in Herefordshire, affecting a greater proportion of households than nationally.  Approximately 60% of our older people live in rural areas where the risk of fuel poverty is increased by type and age of housing and lack of access to mains gas. 

Fuel poverty in Herefordshire

Loneliness and involuntary social isolation

People who live alone are at a higher risk of loneliness and although loneliness can affect any age group, a greater proportion of older people in Herefordshire live alone than nationally. Recent survey results suggest that around 6% of residents have contact with family, friends or neighbours once a month or less, and 8% feel lonely most or all the time.

Loneliness and involuntary social isolation in Herefordshire

Vulnerable people

Although it is important to recognise the contribution every individual can make to their community, and that everyone has strengths as well as weaknesses, some groups of people can have specific needs that mean they are more vulnerable than others and require specific forms of support at certain times.  People can be more vulnerable for a variety of reasons, which could include disability, age, health or social care needs, or being a refugee or asylum seeker.

Vulnerable people in Herefordshire