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Voluntary sector facing increased demand

Paul Tolley, chief executive of Warwickshire CAVA.
Paul Tolley, chief executive of Warwickshire CAVA.

DEMAND for services provided by voluntary organisations and charities is rising, a new study has revealed.

Some 64 per cent of the 9,800 VCSE (Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise) organisations currently operating in Warwickshire have reported an increase in people using or requesting their services — up from 44 per cent two years ago.

The increase is revealed in the second State of the Sector report that has been compiled by Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action (WCAVA), which helps such organisations find volunteers and money.

The 2018 report also shows organisations have, on average, enough money in the bank to fund their services for three months, compared to seven months in 2016, although almost 60 per cent said their annual income had increased last year, and only eight per cent said they felt they were at risk of closure — down from 27 per cent in 2016.

WCAVA’s findings show the number of people volunteering has risen since its first State of the Sector report in 2016, to 191,000 from 150,000, with the 2018 report going one step further and putting their service at a combined 91,000 hours a week which has been estimates as being worth £80.2million.

There are also 1,075 paid employees in the sector.

The report also estimates that 90 per cent of all charitable income in Warwickshire is getting to just eight per cent of charities, all of which operate at a national or international level, with just three per cent going into the coffers of locally-focused charities serving a particular district or council ward.

The findings were from a survey that was carried out between May and November last year.

Almost half of the organisations that responded say they were established within the last 25 years, with eight per cent over 100 years old, and five per cent only having operated for a year and under.

And one of the key messages was that organisations are concerned about their income streams, and the need to diversify, and that there are still many organisations that are not confident to access grant funding, especially from the Big Lottery.

Paul Tolley, chief executive of Warwickshire CAVA, said: “With so much importance and value being placed upon communities, the role of the third sector and increasing levels of volunteering, I encourage all partners to consider the opportunities that exist for greater collaboration and partnership working in light of the findings and recommendations contained within this report.

“We are very appreciative of the time organisations took to complete the survey; the report really shows the diversity and incredible amount of hard work, energy and passion there is within our sector.

"Our second report helps us to predict the areas of increasing need and demand that our members will face over the coming years; with effective support from all quarters, our sector will cope and thrive in these challenging and uncertain times.”

For full report CLICK HERE

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