Third Sector Resilience: Before and during COVID-19
Working closely with over 300 voluntary and community organisations across Bradford district and Craven; Calderdale, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield, the report sets out the impact of COVID-19 on the sector and the communities they support. A life line too many of the 2.7million people living across the area; community groups, charities and voluntary organisations have been delivering vital services for years, including the renewed focus in recent months to those in need of vital help, including the 111,000 people who are shielding.
Building on the long term work of the VCS across communities, the report highlights that for many charities and community organisations their future is now uncertain. Financially they are under pressure and for many digital capacity is a barrier to their work.
Over 300 VCS organisations employing over 7000 members of staff and thousands of volunteers, responded to the WY&H survey. Of these organisations 55% do not expect to be financially sustainable beyond the end of 2020. Many of the organisations who took part in the survey also cited digital exclusion as a challenge in their work, impacting on their ability to reach some of the most at risk and isolated communities. Positives highlighted in the report include the fast tracking and flexibility of service commissioning and delivery between health, local authorities and the VCS, meaning services can respond quickly and everyone works together to make things happen at greater pace.
The Partnership has also enabled its priority programmes of work to align funding for VCS provider collaboration, for example the new Grief and Loss Support Service and ‘Keeping people with a learning disability or autism connected to vital support during Covid-19’. £500,000 of funding has also been made available to voluntary and community organisations to help tackle the impact on people’s health affected by Covid-19, with funds being announced also to support communities most effected by Covid 19.