Hertfordshire Matters

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Hertfordshire Community Foundation (HCF) commissioned OCSI to develop a needs analysis report that identified the socio-economic needs in their area to ensure their grant funding is going to the right places.


We worked with HCF to agree a set of themes and indicators to explore for Hertfordshire.

Within each theme, we took the approach of identifying the most important stories within each of the themes, rather than a more formulaic approach.

The themes covered:

  • Population profile
  • Deprivation and inequality
  • Vulnerable groups
  • Housing and homelessness
  • Health, wellbeing and disability
  • Crime and safety
  • Strong communities
  • Education, skills and training
  • Work and the local economy
  • Access to services and public spaces, arts and culture
  • Environment


The final output was an in-depth report including maps (from Local Insight), charts and visualisations as well as a data appendix.

The analysis found that:

  • Hertfordshire is generally an affluent county but with pockets of deprivation
  • Around 96000 people are income deprived, with more than 50,000 children experiencing income deprivation.
  • There is some evidence that deprivation is rising more sharply than in other comparable areas. 
  • Homelessness has more than doubled since 2011 and  Broxbourne is in the top 10 districts nationally for homelessness.
  • The poorest neighbourhood in the county is Cowley Hill in Borham Woods.


“HCF was pleased to work with OCSI to produce its latest needs analysis report, Hertfordshire Matters, which highlights deprivation and hidden social need in the county.

Drawing on the latest indices of deprivation it is an essential piece of research which underpins our grant making strategy. It also enables us to provide strategic, evidence-based advice to local philanthropists and donors.

Working with OCSI enabled us to produce a high quality report efficiently and effectively. We are delighted with the finished product.”

Helen Gray, Foundation Director

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