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Irreplaceable - the people, places and treasures the UK would be lost without

Photos and videos of loved ones worth their weight in gold

A new national poll of 2000 people carried out by Ecclesiastical1 has revealed that photos and videos of family and friends top the list of our most prized possessions. 

As the insurer of many of the nation’s irreplaceable treasures, from heritage gems such as St Paul’s Cathedral and Chatsworth to museums and galleries and priceless art and jewellery collections, we were keen to uncover the items that people in the UK treasure the most.

More than a third of people said that photos and videos are their top treasure. Many said these snapshots of their past are irreplaceable and unique but the survey also revealed that 80% have put no protection in place for these items, running the risk that these memories will be lost to the next generation.

treasures infographic


Previous irreplaceable research

Our previous irreplaceable research focused on the people and places that we couldn’t be without; from the unsung heroes keeping our communities afloat to the spots we love to visit and how they boost our mental wellbeing.  

  • The vital work being carried out by our community superheroes

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    Irreplaceable  
    In a national poll of 2000 people carried out by Ecclesiastical2, a third of people in the UK said that vital services would not be provided without the irreplaceable people stepping into the breach in their communities. 

    From PCSOs and teachers to shopkeepers, carers and volunteers, the survey revealed that the public feels these community superheroes have a crucial role to play, not only in performing their core roles, but also in helping people in the community who need extra help (23%), making people feel less lonely (17%), supporting the vulnerable (18%) and providing services that would otherwise fall by the wayside (34%). 

    As a specialist insurer, we are proud to play a part in protecting thousands of charities, schools and churches, and supporting the people who work and volunteer in these areas to care for our communities. We were, therefore, keen to gain an insight into how much they are valued by people in the UK. The fact that 60% of the people we surveyed said they have personally benefited from the actions of an irreplaceable person sends a clear message about the importance of the work they carry out. 

    From running activities and volunteering at events to helping keep their communities safe, the poll also showed that more than a third of people surveyed are themselves helping to keep their communities afloat, with 37% doing a lot or a little in their local area. And it seems that people aged 25 and 44 (40%) and those living in rural communities (42%) are the most likely to give a helping hand.  

    View infographic 

  • Mood-boosting beauty spots are the nation’s favourite places to visit

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    Irreplacable  
    Our poll2 also revealed that parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty are not only the UK’s favourite places to visit, they are also key to the nation’s mental wellbeing. As a specialist insurer in the heritage sector , we were keen to explore where people enjoy spending their time and what spots are the most irreplaceable to them. 

    In the poll, a third of people said that national parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are their favourite places to visit, with heritage sites and historic buildings in second spot and art galleries and museums next in the list.

    Parks and public spaces were also second only to schools when people were asked about the places their communities would be lost without. The link between nature and nurture was clear, with people saying that if they lost their local park, they would lose a place to get active, a place of beauty and somewhere to meet up.  


1OnePoll research conducted by Ecclesiastical in September 2017, 2,000 people surveyed across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. 
2OnePoll research conducted by Ecclesiastical in April 2017, 2,000 people surveyed across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. 

100 places
Ecclesiastical Insurance Group plc (EIG) Reg No 1718196. Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc (EIO) Reg No 24869. Ecclesiastical Life Ltd (ELL) Reg No 243111. Ecclesiastical Financial Advisory Services Ltd (EFAS) Reg No 2046087. Ecclesiastical Underwriting Management Ltd (EUML) Reg No 2368571. E.I.O. Trustees Ltd Reg No 941199. EdenTree Investment Management Ltd (EIM) Reg No 2519319. All companies are registered in England at Beaufort House, Brunswick Road, Gloucester GL1 1JZ. EIO and ELL are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 113848 (EIO) and 110318 (ELL). EFAS and EIM are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Firm Reference Number 126123 (EFAS) and 527473 (EIM). EUML is an appointed representative of EIO who is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 402228.