HER Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee will play a major role in bringing the UK back together again following the pandemic, according to new research.
The findings, from The National Lottery Community Fund – the largest funder of community activity in the UK, show that half (51%) of UK adults, potentially 25 million people, are likely to join in with the celebrations in their local community.
Over six in ten (64%) see the once in a lifetime event as a chance for the country to come together, while 50% see it as a chance to reunite with people in their area post-COVID. Celebration appears to be the order of the day with just four in ten (40%) across the UK saying they are unlikely to attend a community event.
Almost six in ten (58%) will use the commemorative Platinum Jubilee weekend to spend valuable time with family and friends. This rises to 66% amongst young people (aged 18-24).
As well as welcoming the celebratory aspects of the Platinum Jubilee, most respondents also recognise the boost to tourism (62%) it will provide in the UK, while unsurprisingly an overwhelming 71% welcome the additional bank holiday that has been granted this year.
The findings come from The National Lottery Community Fund’s Community Research Index – an annual survey of over 8,000 adults across the UK designed to find out how people feel about, and their ambitions for, their communities.
Blondel Cluff CBE, Chair of The National Lottery Community Fund, said:
“It is encouraging to see that this momentous occasion will help unite people and communities across the UK, particularly after facing the challenges of the pandemic. Thanks to National Lottery players we have been able to support events and projects across the UK to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. These will help bring people together and create further opportunities for communities to connect, strengthen and thrive – we are delighted that people are excited about taking part and look forward to seeing a wide range of communities getting involved.”
Earlier this year, The National Lottery Community Fund awarded £4.5 million to 91 projects from its Platinum Jubilee Fund. Launched in November 2021, in honour of Her Majesty’s 70 years of public service, grants of up £50,000 were made to community groups across the UK to bring people together and create lasting legacies for communities.
One of the groups to benefit is Friends of Skelton Grange in Leeds, which has been awarded £50,000 of National Lottery funding for its ‘Queen of Spades’ Platinum Jubilee project. Through an environmental volunteering and learning programme, it will develop an unused area of the Skelton Grange site, known locally as the ‘Lost World’, and make it accessible to the public.
Over the course of 70 days of community action, volunteers of all ages will undertake conservation activities to clear shrubland, create paths, plant trees and meadows, install beehives and create wildlife habitats. The group is also aiming to engage with 1,000 adults and children, bringing them together to educate them about the natural world through hands-on learning, play and outdoor art.
Caroline Crossley, Committee Member for Friends of Skelton Grange, said:
“The Platinum Jubilee is a significant event, and its occasion offers our community a great opportunity to come together and celebrate in a well-loved local environment. Skelton Grange really is an amazing place – 70 years ago it was the site of a newly commissioned power station, then for the last 30 years the area has been revived by local people from an industrial wasteland to a popular nature reserve and environment centre. It’s a perfect chance to look back at changes and progress over the last 70 years, and for our community to recognise what they’ve achieved.
“Thanks to National Lottery players, our project will provide much-needed positivity, skills and experiences for our local community, who’ve had a difficult time these last two years. We’d like this project to mark a turning point, enabling people to enjoy a shared purpose in caring for and learning from their local environment.”
Other activities to receive a share of the Platinum Jubilee funding include sports games for people with acquired brain injuries in the west of England, horticultural support for veterans in Wales, and skills sharing amongst generations in Scotland to reduce waste and pollution, and multicultural community events in south London.
The Platinum Jubilee weekend will also be celebrated with The Big Jubilee Lunch from Thursday 2 – Sunday 5 June 2022. Part of a two-year programme of activities supported by £2.3 million of National Lottery funding, this Jubilee-focused version of the annual Big Lunch event will bring thousands of communities together and help people celebrate the Platinum Jubilee while getting to know their neighbours.
The National Lottery Community Fund distributes money raised by National Lottery players, who raise more than £30 million each week for good causes across the UK.
To find out more, please visit: www.TNLCommunityFund.org.uk.