Alison Pritchard, WCVA’s Sustainable Funding Manager, blogs about how we are changing the way we support the voluntary sector with resilience.
After one of the strangest and probably busiest years WCVA has been through in its 80+ year history, 2020/21 has ended and we now have real breathing room to look ahead to how we can best support our members and the sector through 2021/22 and beyond.
Resilience has been a popular buzzword in the sector for a while now, but the Covid-19 pandemic has taken its use into overdrive. The resilience of the voluntary sector has been discussed everywhere as we all battled to pivot, adapt, and get by and maintain services and activities for the benefit of our communities. Of course, we’d like not to have to be *this* resilient, but that’s the topic of many other blog posts from the last 15 months.
CHANGING OUR FOCUS
In response to our experiences over the last year, WCVA has made resilience a strategic priority alongside digital and equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI). Our work over the coming year will focus on what our members need and want to support them in these vital areas of work. We have already begun to centre resilience (and our other priorities of Digital and EDI) in our work with and for our members and the wider voluntary sector in Wales.
OUR NEW TEAM
One of the main ways we are doing this is by bringing our Governance and Safeguarding, Sustainable Funding (not to be confused with the teams who deliver our grants and loans schemes) and National Diversity functions together as one team.
We have added a range of new roles, including an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, a Digital Innovation Officer, and a dedicated Resilience Officer who will help us to shape the way we support the sector to survive and thrive during times of change.
In line with our purpose, the new ‘Resilience and Development Team’ will make a bigger difference together – pooling our knowledge and expertise across the various facets of running voluntary organisations that contribute to resilience, including but not limited to:
- Sustainable income generation
- Strong governance and safeguarding
- Business planning and strategic thinking
- Quality assurance
- Impact and evaluation
MORE GUIDANCE FOR YOUR WORK
The additional capacity within the team means that we will be producing more resources and providing more training during 2021/22.
So, watch this space for more from us on resilience coming soon, including how we define the term and a broader list of things that contribute to voluntary organisational resilience.
You can start by finding out how to get involved in the research we are carrying out in partnership with Grow Social Capital CIC to find out what’s important for making an organisation resilient. Here Russell from Grow Social Capital CIC introduces the research by asking how has coronavirus affected the resilience of your charity?