Community and voluntary organisations in Brighton & Hove contribute extensive economic, as well as social and environmental value to the city.
That’s the main finding in Taking Account 4 – the latest report detailing the impact of third sector organisations in Brighton & Hove produced by local charity Community Works.
Other key findings in the report include:
- Community, collaboration, co-production, activism, diversity and inclusion are core principles at the bedrock of the sector.
- Working together across sectors is important but the independence of the third sector is essential.
- While overall the sector has demonstrated resilience, some areas and fields of work have been disproportionately affected by funding cuts.
Nancy Platts, Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council, said: “From grassroots community groups to medium and large voluntary organisations, they all play a critical role in the health and wellbeing of our residents, our environment and our city. This report is a timely reminder of just how important they are.”
From the thousands of hours of volunteering and the range of services provided in the city, the report shows the changes many organisations have had to make in recent years.
The results show that organisations have improved how they measure the value of the services to show their impact to funders. While public sector funding has decreased significantly, grassroots groups continue to have huge positive impacts on people’s day-to-day lives.
Local HIV support charity acts on loneliness and increases demand
An example is drawn from one of the case study organisations – the multi-award winning Lunch Positive.
Lunch Positive has strengthened its focus on reducing social isolation and bringing people together for mutual support, rather than the delivery of specific health initiatives.
This largely relates to a shift in focus recognising the impact that loneliness has on health.
The organisation achieves the same health outcomes, but the focus on bringing people together to support each other means the project reaches a wider group of people. This includes those who don’t usually engage who are often those with more complex needs.
Free tools for reporting in Brighton & Hove
Community Works has also published accompanying reports for local third sector organisations to use as tools. They include statistics for organisations to use to support funding bids and reporting.
This research has taken place at five-year intervals since 2003, so is a useful tool both to see the current situation, as well as looking back to how the community and voluntary sector used to look.
Angie Greany, lead partner in the Taking Account 4 survey from Community Works, said: “Our enormous thanks to all the organisations that took part across the city. This report celebrates their achievements and recognises the challenges they are working with.”
About Community Works
Community Works values voluntary and community action and believes it makes society and local areas better. To achieve this they create the support and networks that help people and organisations to use their time, expertise and energy effectively.
The Taking Account 4 report, case studies and background reports are available at www.takingaccount.org.uk.