Our last Community Action Suffolk Covid-19 VCSE Impact Report for November 2020 highlighted a changing picture for the sector in Suffolk as it had begun to move forward from Covid. Since then a lot has happened including the November 2020 lockdown and the current lockdown which has impacted on our sector and our economy.
Encouragingly the survey in from November showed how organisations are adapting to the ‘new normal’ in terms of their working practices and service delivery. The impact of Covid has been severe and has impacted significantly on how we support our communities, but it has also allowed the sector to explore new ways of working and to deliver to a wider group of people in our communities. The most significant factor affecting service delivery continues to be social distancing requirements – this has grown in significance through the pandemic as the limitation imposed by social distancing have become more obvious, and the cumulative impact on ability to deliver which drives demand, and the effect on income.
Our February 2021 survey is now live and looks at the impact of the pandemic on a variety of factors and how organisations handle the risks that the pandemic has made real – we are asking about the use of our organisational healthcheck in this context. We have kept some of the questions around the need for income to sustain services going forward, as well as capturing in more detail the intentions of the sector in seeking grants from Covid funds. We are continuing to explore the attitude of the sector to loan finance and social investment as we move forward through the current lockdown. The need for alternative funding sources is growing in importance and is likely to continue to do so. Our monthly surveys are a litmus test of how our sector is feeling, and how we may need to adapt and change what we are doing to continue to serve the needs of our clients, volunteers and staff going forward.
The surveys also support the wider work being carried out by the sector as it enters the adaptation and recovery phase later in 2021 and will be used to influence local policy decisions.
Please do take the time to complete the survey again – it will help to provide a picture of the needs of the sector going forward and will contribute to the collaborative work to support our communities.
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CLOSING DATE: March 12th 2021