Norfolk VCSE Covid-19 Intelligence - Snapshot Report

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This report is part of a series of documents looking at role of the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector in Norfolk over the Covid-19 period, the impact of the pandemic on the VCSE sector and our beneficiaries and initial thinking about future direction and strategy. This report provides a snapshot of intelligence data at the 15th May 2020.

It is drawn primarily from the health check and survey activity undertaken by Community Action Norfolk as part of the joint Covid-19 partnership work together with Voluntary Norfolk and Norfolk Community Foundation.

It is important to recognise that this report provides a snapshot of issues effecting the VCSE sector in Norfolk as a result of Covid-19 in the short-term. Further research will be needed to understand additional issues as they emerge and the long-term impact.

Key Points 

Local health-check and survey work asked about VCSE organisations’ service status.  On average 73% or organisations were operating some level of service.

VCSE organisations report that their most significant issue is medium term finances. Nearly half of all organisations locally are reporting financial concerns. 62% of organisations are reporting they are currently financially worse off than they were prior to Covid-19. If current circumstances continue to 12 months 31% of organisations report they would be at the point of failure.

Organisations on average are reporting a £2,713 fall in monthly income. Scaling this to the sector level, looking at registered charities only, this is approximately £9 million monthly or £110 million annually. National figures suggest an overall 31% fall in general income for charities. Norfolk’s VCSE sector’s annual income is approximately £384 million, 31% of this being £119 million which would support our local survey intelligence findings.

56% of survey respondents report that clients, beneficiaries or residents are experiencing increased needs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, with 25% reporting these needs are not being met.

Locally, immediate needs (food, medicines etc) are generally reported as being met, this is supported by data from Local Resilience Forum vulnerability calls where 94% of calls required no further action.

Issues identified usually relate to broader areas such as increased mental health needs or longer-term support that clients may normally be entitled to but are not currently receiving. Concern has also been raised about the backlog of demand created by the suspension of normal service offers or people’s reluctance to seek support for non-Covid related issues. Substance misuse, domestic violence and low-income related issues are all highlighted as areas of concern.