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“We want cleaner and safer places to live”, say young people

Posted on 07 July 2015

24 June 2015

A survey commissioned by community charity Groundwork and conducted by YouGov has revealed that more than a third (35%) of young people would like the area where they live to be cleaner and nearly a third (29%) would like their neighbourhood to be safer.

The survey, of young people in the UK aged 16 to 20, revealed a sense of community pride in the young generation with the majority (66%) stating they liked where they lived.

The research findings also revealed a creative and sporty generation with 30% saying they would like to see more places in their neighbourhood to take part in creative activities and 23% saying they would like to see more gyms and sport centres.

The survey results, which coincide with the launch of Groundwork’s X Marks the Spot campaign to encourage young people to get involved in shaping and improving their local community, suggests an appetite for community volunteering with 69% of the young respondents stating they could be motivated to volunteer to help create community spaces. However, only 7% currently volunteer in their community.

The campaign was launched by popular YouTube vlogger, Hazel Hayes, who produced a short film encouraging her 130,000 followers to consider ways they can make their communities better places to live.

Amongst the motivating factors, the survey found that nearly half (49%) said they would be motivated to volunteer if they could gain skills that could help them get a job.

Graham Duxbury, Groundwork UK Chief Executive, said: “The Groundwork survey shows a young generation proud of where they live but wanting to see cleaner, safer neighbourhoods with more things for people their age to do. I urge local councils and local businesses to work together to create opportunities for young people to get involved in their communities.”

Groundwork’s X Marks the Spot campaign is part of the organisation’s five-year strategy to inspire 1,000,000 days of voluntary action in UK communities by 2020.

Notes to editor: 

To arrange an interview with Groundwork UK Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, or to find out more about the Groundwork survey conducted by YouGov, please contact Elizabeth Bananuka on: 07470 397 639 or email 

1/ All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 256 adults aged 16-20. Fieldwork was undertaken between 2nd-4th June 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

2/ To find out more about Groundwork’s X Marks the Spot campaign visit:

About Groundwork

Groundwork is an environmental community charity that has worked for over 30 years to provide training and create jobs, reduce energy use and waste, re-connect people with nature and transform whole neighbourhoods. We have set ourselves the challenge of meeting the following targets by 2020:

  • 2,500 open spaces improved or looked after
  • 10,000 young people more motivated to learn and achieve
  • 15,000 people progressing into training or employment
  • 100,000 people helped to reduce their energy and water use
  • 1,000,000 days of voluntary action to improve local communities