What sector organisations are having to do in the current crisis
Our recent Covid-19 impacts survey has revealed the difficult decisions voluntary and community organisations are faced with and the actions they are taking and planning as they strive to keep going and continue to provide support through the current crisis.
Actions already taken
As well as cancelling services and core activities, organisations reported freezing staff recruitment, stopping any future project planning, and making plans to close buildings. Organisations are struggling to retain staff, some furloughing staff and applying to the government’s job retention scheme, but others planning potential redundancies. Some are seeking deferred payment of bills, such as rent, while others are engaging with their funders to seek clarity and flexibility in the delivery of targets.
Organisations are trying to adapt their work, for example through remote working, but also experiencing technical issues with getting services and communications online. Some are redirecting and redeploying staff and resources and adapting their services for immediate response. Organisations also report having to develop new policies and practices, enhanced health and safety measures for staff and facilities, and new guidance and support for staff/volunteers and service users.
Future planned actions
When asked what future actions they were planning, organisations reported plans to sell assets; apply for emergency funding to provide vulnerable families with additional support; finding alternative fundraising methods; and implementing new policies to and practices with regard to paying suppliers. Some are planning for further reductions in income and looking to minimise operating costs and overheads. Some indicate they planning redundancies unless government support is available while others are rethinking recruitment, and planning to redeploy staff and reconfigure services in the community.
Some are considering additional investment in IT infrastructure and making more equipment available for remote working, while some are considering developing e-based programmes, online support groups and meeting their event-related objectives online.
Other plans reported included: undertaking more local initiatives; restarting social enterprise activities: and providing a mental health services post to meet the high demand caused by the impacts of Covid-19.
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Organisations providing support to people and communities during the COVID-19 emergency can share their service information here