“Overall Vital Signs demonstrates that Essex is a great place to live and work, but it also exposes how geographical inequality affects some of our most vulnerable residents”Caroline Taylor, Deputy Chief Executive
Vital Signs is two reports.
The aim of Vital Signs is to inform the development of community philanthropy in Essex, Southend and Thurrock by providing a ‘health check’ on key local issues. We also hope that it will encourage people to engage in conversation with us about the issues raised in the report.
We recognise the importance of an evidence base to guide our work and whilst the UK is rich with statistics and data this can often be hard to access or difficult to understand. We are therefore excited to be one of the first community foundations across the UK to participate in this initiative, which was originally developed by Community Foundations of Canada.
Vital Signs brings together existing data and most importantly comments and perspective from people in local communities to provide an annual check-up of life in Essex under 12 common Issue Areas. Vital Signs aims to provide people who are interested in supporting their communities with the information they need to direct their action to the most critical areas. Overall the report demonstrates that Essex is a great place to live and work, but it also exposes how geographical inequality affects some of our most vulnerable residents.
As one of the UK’s largest and most populated counties, Essex faces some real challenges. For example, by 2031 the population of people aged 85 and over is expected to have more than doubled, which inevitably will increase pressure on existing health services. These issues affect us all and so this report and your feedback are critical in helping ECF to understand how we can support communities now and in the future.
Overall Essex is doing well and whilst we must celebrate Essex’s successes we should recognise the geographical inequalities that exist across our county and work together to give everyone the chance to realise their potential. We hope you will read this report with interest and that you will want to start a conversation with us about how we can work together to address some of our county’s most vital issues. We look forward to hearing from you.
ECF is grateful to the support provided by Anglia Ruskin University’s 3rd Sector Futures team in the Vital Signs project.