Child issues dominate top public concerns tackled by charities

Child issues dominate top public concerns tackled by charities

26 Nov 2010
  • 5 of the top 10 of a wide range of issues of greatest public concern that are tackled by charities are child-related
  • Public seemingly least naturally concerned about issue of sensory impairment, and the impact of drink
  • “Public worries about children and young people from a variety of angles, fuelled by media delivering related stories,” vies nfpSynergy’s Joe Saxton

Half the ‘top ten’ of a wide range of issues of greatest public concern that are tackled by charities are child-related - according to new data out today. 

Such issues (slide 2) include “child sexual exploitation” (ranked issue-of-most-concern No 1); “the UK not being successful at changing the offending behaviour of young children and cutting future crime rates” (ranked No 2); “child poverty” (ranked No 5); “having a good childhood” (ranked No 6); and “the wellbeing of the UK’s children and young people” (ranked No 9). The remaining ‘top ten’ issues of concern mainly relate to either overseas development or the impact of war.

Leading not-for-profit sector research consultancy nfpSynergy’s Charity Awareness Monitor regularly surveys a representative sample of 1000 16+ year olds throughout mainland Britain, asking them a range of charity-related questions - including gauging which issues tackled by, or of relevance to, charity work they find of most concern. Those polled were asked to rate their level of concern for a wide-ranging prompted list of over 60 issues relating to animal welfare; children and young people; overseas aid and development; environment, conservation and climate change; social problems; and disability, sensory impairment and health.

Interestingly, the top ten issues of least public concern (slide 3), likewise drawn from the wide-ranging prompted list of issues, seem to mainly relate to either sensory impairment and disability, or the adverse effect of alcohol – with the “impact of binge drinking on one’s own health” seemingly proving the least ‘troublesome’ prompted issue of all!

nfpSynergy’s Driver of Ideas, Joe Saxton, said:

“Charities helping children and young people will surely be heartened by this new data, showing the public - amidst a sea of competing concerns - to be so very concerned about issues relating to their own particular cause. This concern, and resulting support, is doubtless already reflected by the existence of very large voluntary organizations, from Barnardo’s to NSPCC, active in this field; and perhaps in part explained by a public seemingly engaged in worrying about children and young people from a whole variety of angles, fuelled by a media actively delivering a broad range of child- and youth-related stories.”

“The seemingly relatively low level of public concern over such serious issues as sensory impairment and alcohol abuse may suggest charities working in these areas need to market their cause ever harder and more imaginatively to get their message across.”



MEDIA COMMENT: To interview nfpSynergy’s Joe Saxton about these findings, please contact him direct on 07976 329 212 or; or, alternatively, contact Adrian Gillan (0774 086 7215; E: for further assistance.

Note to editors:

nfpSynergy ( is the UK’s only research consultancy dedicated to the charity sector and not-for-profit issues. It provides ideas, insights and information to help voluntary and community organisations thrive in an ever-changing world. Regularly harvesting the social and charity-related views of public and parliament, media and business - not to mention not for profit organisations themselves - nfpSynergy has a vast and ever-growing knowledge pool from which to extract and deliver insights.