The results of our latest collaborative survey to understand the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on voluntary community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector organisations and their beneficiaries in the North East reveal that despite organisations across the region receiving financial support totalling almost £26m, around half of respondents expect to dip into their reserves to stay afloat this year.
Smaller organisations in particular, (those with an annual income under £50k) told us they're likely to see an unplanned income reduction of more than 50 per cent, which will put them into a deficit position. That said, a significant number (42 per cent of respondents) said they're anticipating an unexpected surplus, having secured additional grant funding and other income during the pandemic.
The newly published results of the latest North East VCSE sector Covid-19 impact survey, carried out by VONNE in partnership with Local Infrastructure Organisations (LIOs) and members of the NE and Cumbria Funder's Network, also tell us that an estimated 320,224 people in the North East are either receiving a significantly reduced service or no service at all from the collective 117 VCSE organisations upon which they rely. This figure represents a fraction of the total number of people currently unable to receive their usual levels of support due to Covid-19 from the region's 7,200 VCSE organisations.
The report also highlights that urgent, strategic policy interventions are required to alleviate digital poverty in the North East.
As with our previous survey results, these findings are being shared with stakeholders including local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships, private sector organisations and the health system, to make the case for additional support and resources for the sector, and with national infrastructure partners including NCVO, ACEVO, NAVCA and the Charity Finance Group, to help us influence government decisions affecting the sector.
Our thanks go to the 155 organisations that took the time to offer us their insight. Read the full report at vonne.org.uk/resources/late-2020-vcse-sector-north-east-covid-19-impact-report.