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Introduction

Social participation has been linked to the wellbeing of individuals, families and their communities in a range of studies, with high levels of community participation found to be associated with better physical and mental wellbeing. Social participation includes participation in both formal and informal groups, including involvement in community activities such as local events and clubs.

Particular factors have been found to be associated with increased community participation, including cultural background, socio-economic status, gender and age. Structural and organisational factors have also been identified, including ease of access, transport, availability, cost, location, engagement with local stakeholders and the quality and safety of facilities. A study by Berry, Rodgers and Dear (2007), for example, identified that while people may choose to participate in their community in many ways and at different levels, regular involvement in certain activities is especially beneficial, particularly those pursuits that are characterised by personal involvement, initiative and effort.

Relationships Australia has previously explored different ways people participate socially in their community with a view to understanding how community participation impacts on positive wellbeing. The focus of Relationships Australia’s April 2018 online survey was to find out the level of engagement with the local community and the level of social participation of visitors to our website.

Relationships Australia State and Territory websites