Four in 10 North Yorkshire charities say their future is uncertain beyond October

A pandemic impact survey has found that many charities in North Yorkshire fear for their future – yet the community spirit is shining through.

Monday, 22nd June 2020, 11:29 am
Survey results measure impact of Coronavirus on charities in North Yorkshire.

A total of 40% of charities report that their future is uncertain beyond October, while 85% of charities have had to close or put part of their service on hold due to Covid-19.

Charities across North Yorkshire were invited to take part in the Voluntary & Community Sector (VCS) Resilience Survey in April to help measure the impact that the coronavirus is having on the sector.

Community First Yorkshire has analysed the results.

While the downturn in the fortunes of some voluntary sector organisations is no surprise, analysis of the survey results demonstrates that organisations are showing an incredible amount of flexibility and determination in their drive to support local communities and people.

Key findings are:

· 41% may struggle to sustain operations beyond six months

· 85% have closed or put on hold part of their service

· 78% have continued to operate; 63% of those have modified their services

· 44% are finding digital exclusion an issue, across all age groups

· 70% say that at least one income stream has been affected

· 60% can find a positive in the current situation

· 50% have found funders to be flexible and supportive as activities have needed to be adapted

Leah Swain, Chief Executive at Community First Yorkshire, said: “Covid-19 has had a profound effect on the voluntary and community sector in North Yorkshire, triggering changes in income, service delivery and staffing.

“We knew the survey findings would show worrying trends in financial stability and future operation for many organisations, particularly smaller charities, and we have been working hard to provide support and advice during the coronavirus.”

Despite the difficulties experienced by many voluntary sector organisations, Leah hailed "the incredible spirit" shining through.

“Organisations have reported an incredible surge in community spirit with people showing greater unity and kindness, and a desire to help the most vulnerable.

"I am humbled by the commitment from charity staff and their determination and ability to adapt at this difficult time.

"A huge number of volunteers have also provided local support to neighbours and their wider communities.

“We believe that it’s important for the voluntary sector to come together with funders and public sector partners to help charities and community groups get through this difficult period and be able to continue to support vulnerable people and communities after Covid-19.”

If you need help with planning your organisation’s future post lockdown, get in touch with your local organisation, who can support your community group, charity or social enterprise with advice and guidance on: funding, governance and trustee support, financial support, marketing advice and exploring ways to develop your organisation.

If you are based in North Yorkshire, email [email protected] or call Community First Yorkshire on 01904 704177.