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COVID-19 and the voluntary sector – initial learning

Published : 06/05/20 | Categories: Influencing |

The COVID-19 outbreak has upended the voluntary sector, but its impact is being felt in different ways by different organisations.

The diversity of Wales’ voluntary organisations is part of its strength, but it means that delivering support to them, and hearing back on the challenges that they face, needs to reflect that diversity.

WCVA has been in regular contact with voluntary organisations of all types, from multinational NGOs to the smallest community groups.  We have heard from those organisations who are right on the frontline, working with the NHS to treat COVID-19, to those supporting people feeling the emotional and financial pressures of the lockdown, to those who helping neighbourhoods to support each other.

Wherever possible, the voluntary sector is contributing so much to the national effort to beat COVID-19. Some are finding new ways to help people living in poverty.  Others have explored new ways of working that allow them to recreate some of their work online.  Many have done this at a time when their income is dropping and they are worried about the ability to deliver this support in the future.

WCVA has collated the information we have been receiving – often in confidence – from the voluntary sector. We’ve drawn these together in a briefing which aims to highlight the key themes facing charities and voluntary groups of all sizes in Wales. We look at issues such as volunteering, financial resilience, community facilities, and service delivery. Our briefing is based on a wide range of sources, from national networks, to local charitable hubs.

In many of these areas, there are positive changes as well as negative ones. At the heart of it is a story of a sector which has had to adapt quickly at times with significant uncertainty. Some of those adaptations are inspiring, others are simply necessary. We hope by starting to catalogue them, we are able to create a basis for supporting the voluntary sector in the future.

WCVA is happy to hear from voluntary sector organisations who have something to add to this – whether you agree with our analysis or not or think there’s something else to add. Please drop us a line on

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