New service launched to help Bucks charities and community groups thrive
A new service is offering support, guidance and training to Buckinghamshire’s not-for-profit groups to help them continue to make a difference in their local communities post pandemic.
The VCSE Support Service, funded by Buckinghamshire Council and delivered by local charity Community Impact Bucks, supports charities, voluntary and community groups and social enterprises (VCSE or not-for-profit groups) in all aspects of their work, including securing essential funding, being well-managed, and recruiting volunteers.
Organisations of all sizes can access a wide range of online resources and guidance on the Community Impact Bucks website, and further tailored support can be requested via a support request form with priority given to organisations with an income of under £100,000.
Four fifths of the county’s 4,750 voluntary organisations are classed as small or micro organisations[i], with an income of under £100,000, and many have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. When the county’s not-for-profits were asked what their biggest challenges were for the future[ii], it was found that:
- Nearly a third (31%) stated their biggest challenge was funding and finance
- One in five (21%) identified their biggest challenge was adapting to new opportunities and ways of working
- Almost one in five (19%) said their biggest challenge was recruiting enough volunteers
“We have an amazing array of charities and community groups in Buckinghamshire, playing an essential part in the running of our communities. However their experience of the pandemic has varied considerably – some have adapted brilliantly, while others have struggled with reduced incomes and losing volunteers – and we have seen new grassroots groups set up to respond to new needs,” commented Katie Higginson, CEO of Community Impact Bucks.
“Our new service can provide support to these organisations, whatever their situation – whether it is to overcome challenges and adapt to new ways of working; to set up, grow, and put in place the structures, funding and people they need to be successful; or perhaps to get through difficult times, offering support to help them be stronger and more resilient. Tailored support ensures each organisation can get the help that they need.”
Bucks resident Helen Pettifer came to the service looking for advice on how to set up a new voluntary organisation: “It was really useful to be able to talk through what I am looking to achieve, and the advice given gave me a much clearer understanding of what I need to do to move my campaign forwards.”
Cllr Steve Bowles, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities said: “I am delighted that the support service provided by Community Impact Bucks for voluntary sector organisations working with our communities in Buckinghamshire has successfully launched and is already making a real difference, building on the excellent partnership work we saw during the pandemic.”
To get help for an organisation that would benefit from this support, people are encouraged to fill in a short request form and then a member of our team will get in touch. Organisations can request support for themselves or they can be referred by a third party.
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Notes for Editors:
- Community Impact Bucks is an independent charity that supports people and groups to get involved and make a difference in Buckinghamshire communities. We offer expert advice and training, help people to find volunteering opportunities, and help charities and not for profit groups to get started, be effective and grow. A wide range of volunteer and not-for-profit stories can be found in our online case studies.
- Community Impact Bucks is the Volunteer Centre, the Council for Voluntary Services, and the Rural Community Council for Buckinghamshire.
[i] 79% of Buckinghamshire’s 4,750 voluntary organisations have an income of under £100,000/ reference State of the Sector Survey, February 2021
[ii] State of the Sector Survey, February 2021Back