To say that the UK has not had its fair share of social issues would definitely be an oblivious statement. Everyone should be well aware of the current happenings that have been going on over the past year and even beyond it.
2019 was dominated by the general elections, while 2020 marked the outbreak of the global pandemic and other unfortunate events. This year, the UK is expected to handle the full effects of its recent withdrawal from the European Union (EU) — more commonly known as Brexit — on top of all these already burdened circumstances.
These issues have proven to have substantial impacts on personal wellness and even business operations. Leaving them unaddressed would surely not bode well for the country moving forward. More than ever, it’s become extremely paramount for everyone to make the necessary efforts to create a more resilient society. The first step lies in knowing where to begin.
This is where the area of community psychology comes into play. It allows everyone, from individuals to corporations, to see the realities of their particular community and how they can play an active role in making it much better. Focusing on the larger picture of society will enable people to identify relevant problems that genuinely threaten them, whether well-being or business-related.
After which, they will be able to strategically position themselves and develop the necessary solutions to address these concerns. Engaging in community psychology essentially encourages everyone to spark a positive change within the social framework they are included in. These changes can either come from the individual or the larger social system.
There are plenty of avenues and programs that community psychologists offer to achieve this; online counseling workshops are the most common. These are usually geared to empower individuals or organizations to become more action-oriented, especially in civic participation, while still being rooted in their own communities.
Key Social Issues to Address
It should come as no surprise that the previous year has proven extremely difficult for the UK. While the continued vaccination rollout programs across the country promise to usher everyone into the post-pandemic world, there are still plenty of key areas of concern present. Here are some of the most prevalent social issues that everyone should be more aware of and consider tackling in the months, and even years, ahead.
A Sustainable Future
Aside from the global pandemic, the past year also made the threats of the worsening climate crisis more apparent. Natural calamities are proven to have increased in both intensity and frequency, pushing them to the extremes. While the climate crisis is not entirely new, tackling this looming issue has become more pressing in recent years.
In this light, individuals and businesses should genuinely become more conscious about their environmental impact. This can usually manifest in being more vocal about the climate crisis, investing in more sustainable practices, or both. Moreover, it’s also worth noting that the UK Government has been making strides to uphold its promise of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
Bridge the Gap
There has been a long-standing economic, social, and political divide between the North and the South of the UK. The effects of the global pandemic have only exacerbated this split, which has only led certain cities into decline. This decline is usually measured by the unemployment rate and the availability of jobs in those areas.
With this in mind, it’s becoming increasingly important for organizations to invest more into these cities to reinvigorate their economies. In effect, this will generate more opportunities and attract individuals to consider moving into these declining areas. This will effectively address, and ideally halt, the growing North-South gap.
The Role of SMEs
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the beating hearts of local economies, but they also prove to play a crucial role in the UK’s economic growth. It’s been recorded that there are close to 6 million SMEs in the UK, which is only continuing to increase even in the midst of the global pandemic. They also span across diverse industries, from technologies to health.
However, most of these start-ups are not necessarily getting the support and recognition they need. SMEs make up a huge portion of the UK’s business population and account for approximately three-fifths of employment within the country. Both individuals and business organizations should definitely consider investing in them. Doing so will prove to have numerous socioeconomic benefits moving forward.
The Way Forward
The UK genuinely has to face these social issues head-on, just as it did with the global pandemic. While the past year has been extremely challenging for everybody, it should also serve as proper motivation to hope for a better society soon. After all, adversity only sets the stage for growth to take place.