In June 2014 we asked members to complete a survey so we could better understand:
- The make-up of the membership in terms of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, faith, class, impairments/ health conditions, immigration status and other factors;
- Any barriers members were facing in participating in Edge (potentially connected to factors above) or particular preferences (eg whether they receive information via email or post) etc;
- What skills they have and which Edge activities they are most interested in taking part in (eg reading and scoring applications, fundraising, communications).
Around half the members completed the survey (64) and we are now in the process of looking at the data so we can:
- Address any gaps in representation;
- Resolve any participation issues/ provide support where needed;
- Ensure members are kept up to date about activities/ areas they’re interested in and given the opportunity to get involved.
All new members of Edge will be asked to complete the survey so we can continue to work on these areas (please don’t complete the survey until you have been accepted as a member, you will need to apply to become a member first).
Make-up of the membership
When looking at the make-up of our membership we have tried to also look at the statistics for the general population of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England (the area we operate). It is difficult to make a direct comparison as many of our questions asked members to give their own answers rather than ticking boxes and it is not always possible to find reliable data or data for the specific area we work in. Some statistics have been given below as a very rough guide.
Half the members who completed the survey live in London. We also have members in places such as Manchester, Rochdale, Liverpool, Blandford, Leeds, Coventry, Colchester, Thornaby, Smethwick, Cambridge, Glasgow, Holmfirth, Machynlleth (Wales), Bango (N Ireland).
Whilst the age range of Edge members is quite well balanced, we only have two people under 25 and only two age 70 or over. From those who answered the question, 23% were in their fifties.
Of those who answered the question, we have slightly more women than men, and a small number of people who identify as gender queer. 57% women, 40% men, 3% gender queer.
97% of those who answered the question identify as the same gender as they were assigned at birth.
35% of those who answered the question identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer or questioning.
59% of Edge members who answered the survey identified themselves as white.
The UK is 87.1% white, 7% Asian, 3% Black/African/Caribbean, 0.1% Gypsy/ Traveller and 2% mixed/ multiple ethnicity (2011 Census)
Members were asked if they’d ever considered themselves to be a migrant, refugee or asylum seeker. 76% of those who answered the question said they had not been a migrant, refugee or asylum seeker.
88.7% of the UK population were born in the UK, with 11.3% ‘foreign-born’ (Eurostat).
We asked members ‘what is your mother tongue?’ A third of members who completed the survey didn’t answer this question, we assume because their mother tongue is English. 79% of those who did answer the question said their mother tongue is English. Answers other than English were Bulgarian, Chinese, Filipino, French/ Ligala, Gujarati, Odia and Yoruba.
92% of the UK population (aged 3 or over) speak English as their main language (2011 Census).
68% of Edge members who answered the question said they did not have a faith.
In the UK, 59% of people are Christian, 25% have no religion, 5% are Muslim, 1.46 Hindu, 0.75% Sikh, 0.5% Jewish and 0.5% Buddhist (2011 Census)
Disability and health
45% of members who answered the question said they had a health condition or impairment.
Around 18% of people in England, Wales and Scotland said their day-to-day activities are limited because of a health problem or disability which has lasted, or is expected to last, at least 12 months. 19% said their health was fair, bad or very bad (2011 Census, 2011 Scotland Census) NB Our question was much broader than the Census questions.
Health conditions and impairments given in the survey are shown below. The words/ terms in larger sizes are those that were more frequently given in the survey.
This category is one of the hardest to define. It is a free format question (as many of the questions are) and the graph below shows a rough categorisation of the answers. 42% identified as middle class, 35% as working class and 17% as currently middle class but grew up working class.
The answers answers given are represented below:
Edge members who completed the survey had a variety of employment statuses, which were again difficult to categorise.
The diagram below gives more of an idea of some of the answers given.
There were many different answers to the question ‘how would you describe your political views?’. A few terms stood out, as shown below.