About the VCSE Sector

What does the VCSE Sector look like in the North East?

Research conducted by Northern Rock Foundation (2015) demonstrates the key contribution the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector makes to the social and economic life of the North East region.

In the North East there are 6,900 third sector organisations

  • 5,038 are registered charities
  • 1,730 are companies limited by guarantee


  • 57% of organisations have less than £50,000 income
  • 23% medium sized organisations income £50,000-£250,000
  • 20% larger organisations income £250,000- £1M+

Most popular beneficiary groups:

  • Older people 36%
  • Children and young people 32%
  • Health and mental health 26%
  • People with physical disabilities 25%
  • People in rural areas 21%
  • Deprived urban areas 18%

Areas worked

  • 47% operate at village or neighbourhood level
  • 21% operate across 1 local authority
  • 32% operate across regional and beyond


  • 36,250 staff are employed by the third sector in the North East, down 750 from 2008.
  • This is 3.1% of North East workforce.
  • 35% of employees are part-time.


  • 149,000 volunteers, risen by 6,000 despite the NE still being the region with the lowest level of volunteering nationally.
  • 10.7 million hours given by volunteers
  • Value of volunteer time is £70-150m a year


Third Sector Organisations in the poorest areas were four times more likely to have lost significant income in the last two years compared with the richest areas.

42% of organisations in the poorest areas said they were still heavily dependent on public sector funding as opposed to 10% in the richest areas.