State of the Nation

Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland’s ‘State of the Nation’ report examines social and community issues facing society today.

Following the success of the first report in 2018 this year it has examined the impact that loneliness and social isolation is having on all generations.


One of the silver linings to come out of the black cloud of COVID-19 is the number of people who have volunteered their services within their community.  

The pandemic has brought out the altruistic side of many of us and now we’re being asked to continue our kindness. 

And Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland is urging people to continue their kindness, saying volunteering is not just for lockdown. It will have a vital role to play in the new normal world too. 

Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland is urging people to continue their kindness, saying volunteering is not just for lockdown. It will have a vital role to play in the new normal world too.


In fact, people may need help and support more than ever once the current crisis is over, given the damage to the economy and the inevitable impact on employment along with spiralling issues around mental health and loneliness after the prolonged lack of physical contact with friends and family. And many people are keen to help.   

Research conducted just before lockdown as part of Rotary’s third annual State of the Nation report shows more than half of us (59%) believe we should be more productive in our spare time.  

More than half of us (59%) believe we should be more productive in our spare time."

Four out of ten people want to spend more time helping others (43%) and 55% of those questioned say that as well as allowing them to help others, volunteering is good for their own mental health. 

People questioned, who already volunteered, said it made them feel fulfilled (41%), productive (36%) and happy (35%). 

Lockdown has given many of us the time we lacked beforehand to step forward and help out, and with time on our hands, especially with the government’s furloughing package now extended until autumn, for some, there has never been a better time to volunteer. 

Lockdown has given many of us the time we lacked beforehand to step forward and help out, and with time on our hands.


And while Rotary believes it is vitally important for people to help out now, the bigger challenge lies ahead, as things begin to return to a “new normal and the longer-term impact on our communities and society in general becomes clearer.  

During the pandemic Rotary club members have been active across the community launching over 150 community-focused projects, activities and groups.

While Rotary believes it is vitally important for people to help out now, the bigger challenge lies ahead, as things begin to return to a “new normal” and the longer-term impact on our communities and society in general becomes clearer.”

This has ranged from stocking food banks, donating supermarket gift cards, making and distributing vital PPE, providing free school meals, transporting books to care homes for residents confined to their rooms, collecting much needed prescriptions, and shopping for the vulnerable and elderly to name but a few.

Amanda Watkin
General Secretary

©Rotary International Great Britain and Ireland 2020


Rotary launched the State of the Nation Report following in 2018. Download the Executive Summary from previous years below.

Download 2019 State of the Nation report

Download 2018 State of the Nation report