In early 2008 we explored your attitudes towards citizenship as well as your involvement in both local and global community affairs.
- 210 people participated in the survey, 59% were aged 16-25
- 69% of respondents were female
- All areas of the UK were represented
About a fifth of you (21%) said that citizenship involved being a 'good citizen', acting responsibly and respecting laws. Your more emotive examples included 'a sense of belonging' (13%) or being a 'part of something' (8%).
35% of you associated the term 'Democracy' with a right to vote and a contribution to political control. 22% talked about equal rights and 20% mentioned an involvement in decision making.
A quarter of you did not know what 'activism' meant or chose not to answer the question. From those of you that did, 31% referred to the general definition of 'being pro-active' or 'taking action'. 25% of you saw it as sticking up for a cause and 17% to bring about change.
Most concerning local issues in need of change:
- Places to socialise (22%)
- Health services (19%)
- Public transport (16%)
- Physical environment (10%)
- Educational facilities (9%)
We also asked you the same questions about global issues. Climate change came out on top of the following concerns:
- Global warming and climate change (25%)
- Human rights and justice (23%)
- War (16%)
- Conservation (11%)
- Third world debt (6%)
Experience of citizenship
46% of you would not describe yourselves as 'active citizens'. However, almost all of you had taken part in some sort of community activity.
- Given money to a good cause (85%)
- Arranged or signed a petition (73%)
- Volunteered (68%)
- Joined a group/committee/association (51%)
- Written to an MP (38%)
83% of you would like to be able to do more to improve your local community. However, certain barriers currently get in the way of involvement. 54% of you said you didn't have time, 26% wouldn't know where to start, 24% don't think you have the power to change things and 20% said you lacked the confidence or skills.
50% of you said you would get more involved if the results of your actions were more visible and the same proportion felt they could do more if it could fit in more easily with your lifestyle.