As a large city with of the fastest growing populations in the country, Bristol’s residents are diverse and varied. While this brings so many positives to our city, it also brings about challenges. With so many different needs present in our local communities, it’s important that we continue to take time to listen to citizens to better understand them, especially in times of real need.
The Quality of Life Survey is an annual questionnaire that asks residents about their experiences of living in Bristol and what matters to them, and is sent to over 30,000 households at random. Questions ask for views on a range of topics from safety and public services, to sustainability and health.
This is your chance to have your say and voice your opinions. We want to know what you like about living in Bristol and what you think could be better.
Now in its 24th year, the findings of the Quality of Life Survey help us understand what residents want and need, and what they value most about where they live. The results also give us a picture of levels of inequality in the city and how quality of life varies between communities. We can then take this information and plan public services that will be fit for the future needs of the population, and so can city partners.
This week, invitations to fill out the Quality of Life 2023 survey will be arriving at 33,000 homes across the city. Households are chosen randomly to make sure that the sample is representative of our city’s diverse population.
If you receive an invite, please do put some time aside to take part and complete the questions before 23 October. The survey should take around 30 minutes to fill out and can be done online by following the link or scanning the QR code included on your letter. We will also be sending out paper copies later this month for anyone that isn’t able to complete it online.
It’s important that everyone has the chance to have their voice heard, but each year we typically receive fewer responses from minoritised communities. It’s so important that we understand your views, regardless of your background. We need responses from everyone so that we have a clear picture of life in Bristol.
In 2022, around 4,000 people took part in the survey. The results unsurprisingly highlighted the substantial impact that the national cost of living crisis has had on people’s finances and mental health.
We asked if people were “worried about keeping their home warm this winter” to which almost half (48 per cent) responded that they were extremely or moderately worried. There was also evidence of widening inequality between communities as this figure rose to 62 per cent in deprived areas. The same trend was seen when we asked people about their food security with eight per cent telling us they are now experiencing moderate to worse food insecurity, doubling to 16 per cent in the most deprived areas.
Last winter we had anticipated these concerns and responded to the national cost of living crisis by coordinating a network of 105 Welcoming Spaces in the city, places where people could go to keep warm, access support and socialise with others. It was important that we could respond quickly and as a city to support people in times of difficulty.
The Quality of Life survey is an important tool for shedding light onto inequalities such as these, and showing us where people’s worries currently lie. Read my previous blog for a full overview of results from 2022.
Each year the results are used by services across the council to help make decisions about policy, to inform planning and as evidence when securing vital funding for projects. Last year findings supported a range of work including suicide prevention, our drug and alcohol strategy, digital inclusion, and fuel poverty. They also form the basis of all our Equality and Impact Assessments, ensuring that we accurately assess how our work is going to impact people in Bristol.
To find out more about the Quality of Life Survey and reports from previous years, visit the council’s website.
Don’t forget to complete your survey if you receive one before 23 October 2023.