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  • New survey from the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay reveals 75% of Brits feel positive about their local community
  • Climate change and mental health are the most pressing issues that Brits want to tackle in 2022
  • Almost 70% think sport has positive impact on community and the mental health of its members
  • More than three quarters of UK adults have someone that inspires them
  • Research revealed just days before Batonbearer nominations open for the Queen’s Baton Relay in England

 Three quarters of British adults feel positive about their local community, but climate change, mental health, and opportunities for young people are the three main areas they want to see improve next year.

These findings have been revealed by the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay, in new research* which takes a fresh look on what community means and which qualities inspire people today.

The research comes ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games’ search to recruit 2,022 Batonbearers for the Queen’s Baton Relay in England, which will invite nominations for inspiring individuals making a difference in their community to take on the once-in-a-lifetime role in summer 2022.

The Queen’s Baton Relay is a tradition that celebrates, connects and excites communities across the Commonwealth in the build to the Games.

Of more than 3,300 UK adults surveyed, four in ten (40%) described where they live as ‘welcoming’, with the North East topping the list for community spirit. Of all the generations, the over 55s were found to be the most amiable. A third (32%) of respondents also considered their community ‘family-friendly’, whilst a further 23% called it ‘diverse’.  As part of the same survey, Birmingham 2022 sought to find out what inspires people most. A quarter revealed that the most inspiring person they know is someone who has significantly impacted their own lives and in three words they would describe them as ‘caring, supportive and selfless’.

These qualities were particularly valued in West Yorkshire, where 48% of people voted these the most inspiring traits in others. On a national level, selflessness (27%), commitment (25%) and generosity (23%) also rated high as the top qualities most likely to inspire people. These figures of inspiration that positively challenge others to achieve their best can be nominated to be a Batonbearer for the Queen’s Baton Relay in England.

Looking to the future of communities, three in ten (30%) would like to see more opportunities for young people, which is especially true for those living in Southampton and Portsmouth (41%). More than a quarter (28%) want more positive action against climate change in their community, and a quarter (25%) believe that addressing poor mental health should be prioritised.

In West Yorkshire and Bristol, addressing social isolation also came high on the agenda, with 30% of respondents saying that this is a priority they are keen to address.

When asked if sport could hold the answer, seven in 10 (69%) believe that sport has a positive impact on the community – and particularly the mental health and wellbeing of its members. More than a third of respondents (36%) cited sports as beneficial to mental health, whilst 34% praised sport for keeping communities fit and active, and 30% said it provided an opportunity to bring the community together. Recognising its vast benefits, nearly a quarter of 18–34-year-olds surveyed said that they want to join a sports club next year.

Lisa Hampton, Head of the Queen’s Baton Relay for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, said: “With our search to find the next generation of Batonbearers in England kicking off in January, we wanted to truly understand the type of people that inspire the nation and what community means to people today. So many have faced adversity this year and we’ve all had to rely on our communities in different ways, whether that’s through neighbours, local services, friends, or family.

“What’s really positive to see is just how many people have inspirational figures in their lives, and how many also hold their community in high regard. This is exactly the spirit we want our Batonbearers to represent when they take part in the Queen’s Baton Relay next summer. We’re looking for individuals that are always willing to take on a challenge, those making a meaningful contribution to their community, or a someone that inspires others to achieve their best.  We look forward to revealing more details about our search for Batonbearers in the next couple of weeks.”

* The research was conducted by Opinium Research, surveying 3,386 UK adults between 3 – 13 December 2021.


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