April Update from Empowering Communities

Here you’ll find the April update about some of the key trends affecting the VCSE sector nationally, but also here in Norfolk.

A new financial year, for many Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations, means simultaneously looking back at the previous financial year and moving forward with plans for the current year.  A good starting point for planning ahead is taking stock of where we are now both as a sector and individually, which is why the 6th VCSE Barometer Survey is a timely opportunity to reflect.

This Month’s Top Picks:

  • The 6th VCSE Barometer Survey is now live.  This quarterly survey collects data from voluntary organisations, with a view to influencing policy decisions and tracking the sector’s evolving challenges, including volunteer recruitment and retention, funding opportunities, and the impact of the cost-of-living crisis.  Complete the survey here by midnight on 1st May 2024.  You can also view the results of the previous Barometer here.
  • The Government has updated its guidance on managing risks associated with extremism. It advises trustees, staff and volunteers on how they can protect their charity from abuse by those encouraging extremism, terrorism or illegal activity.
  • A report by the Health Foundation, an independent charity, reveals that growing ill-health will continue to significantly impact people’s lives predicting 3.7 million working-age adults will be living with major illness by 2040.  80% of this increase will be in the more deprived 50% of areas, further entrenching health inequalities, with a handful of conditions contributing to most of the health inequality such as chronic pain, type 2 diabetes and anxiety and depression, which are projected to grow at a faster rate in the most deprived areas.  The report calls for investment in the voluntary sector to manage higher demand for services, especially in the most deprived areas.  In addition, Age UK has released a blueprint for improving the lives of older people containing 52 separate policy recommendations covering many different aspects of later life.
  • FareShare has found that twice as many charities are seeing 18-25 year olds accessing food support for the first time over the past year due to the cost-of-living crisis.  In its annual survey, 52% of the charities and community groups surveyed also reported increased demand during key holiday periods, with pressure on voluntary-run afterschool and breakfast clubs increasing outside of term time.  In this election year, FareShare has launched a three-point manifesto shaped by charities and community groups across the UK.

In case you missed it, Norfolk Community Advice Network (NCAN) have produced a survey to gather feedback on the current version of the NCAN system from users (frequent or infrequent).


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