Vital Signs is a Community Foundation initiative which uses community knowledge to help guide effective giving and philanthropy. It gathers statistics, local research and the views of people and organisations about a range of issues from housing to health, the arts to the economy, environment to education, and describes where our funding is already working and gaps where more support is needed. Vital Signs is now an online resource which will be regularly updated. But it is the start of a conversation, not the final word: we welcome your views.
• Northumberland is a great place to live and work. Philanthropy can make a significant contribution to local quality of life, particularly by supporting community buildings, voluntary sector projects and volunteering.
• The Northumberland economy is characterised by low wages and productivity. We need to think about how philanthropy can support efforts to improve this situation.
• There is significant deprivation in Northumberland, including hidden pockets of poverty and disadvantage in more prosperous areas. The community and voluntary sector needs support to help local residents address the challenge this presents.