Barry Malki, VCSE and Community Development Officer, looks at opportunities for local groups.
It is difficult to avoid mention of the “Cost of Living” crisis, whether in the wider media or just through conversations with other people. Various societal and environmental drivers have come together to create a situation with repercussions being felt everywhere, and its effects are evident wherever you look.
One notable feature of the crisis is that the difficulties people are currently facing cross socio-economic, cultural and geographic divides. All of us are feeling the impact directly or know people who are, with the most vulnerable members of society experiencing the effects most profoundly.
But it isn’t just individuals who are feeling the pinch of rising cost of fuel and basic goods, organisations are also affected. In fact, many charities or community groups are being hit twofold – by rising operational costs and also by increasing demand for their services as more people need help.
I know our local support groups in Buckinghamshire are feeling this pressure, and staff and volunteers are facing significant challenges to provide the services that so many residents rely on.
This may seem like doom and gloom, but as Winston Churchill once famously remarked during the establishment of the United Nations, “never let a good crisis go to waste”. This strain on services may lead to a streamlining of operations, new funding opportunities, or the development of new partnerships.
A number of organisations I have spoken to are already looking to work together to share services or combine functions which will reduce overheads. In the same way that the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated many organisations’ use of virtual services – leading to a wide-spread reduction in costs associated with office rental for example – the current environmental pressure will likely lead to long-lasting changes in the sector.
Community Impact Bucks is working hard to support organisations in the county to ensure that they can keep delivering their essential services to local people.
Where possible we want to share the learning and experience of other organisations and provide opportunities for groups to learn from each other. If you’re interested in learning how other organisations in your area are dealing with the current situation, or interested in exploring new partnerships and funding opportunities, drop into one of our virtual networking sessions – for not-for-profits in the northern Buckinghamshire on 22nd November (6.30-8.30pm) and for organisations in the southern Buckinghamshire on 24th November (6.30-8.30pm).
Contact the team on email@example.com or 0330 2369350.Back