Learning from lockdown: How will a delayed recovery affect approaches to sector needs?

Life ring with COVID-19 support written on it
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23 November, 2020


For our next Learning from Lockdown, we’re again going back to the start of the coronavirus pandemic in spring to review the initial impacts on Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations, and the development needs that appeared as a result. This formed the basis for our latest briefing paper, available to download now.

Many of the early priorities, such as digital skills, workforce capacity, costs and demand, can also be found in later research, but the knock-on impact on future services still isn’t clear.

Our briefing looks at three areas:

  • Emerging development needs of the sector because of COVID-19, such as reduced income and increased demand for services.
  • Resources, support and skills that the sector needs to address these issues, such as employment law and HR, and access to temporary help.
  • Community assets and resources that the sector should use to help with the upcoming recession caused by COVID-19, such as new local partnerships, and more trust in communities.

At the end of the briefing, we also look at further questions that have come out of the research. One example is the amount of closed commercial spaces, like shops and pubs, which everyone has noticed locally and nationally; we ask if charities should be able to take on these spaces as a community asset.

As we’re in a second national lockdown, a longed-for recovery looks set to be delayed further in 2021. The need for more radical approaches also gains weight, with MPs and local authorities recommending trials of a Universal Basic Income, for example.

Are there other equally important changes that should be considered, either by the VCSE sector or for public policy affecting its work? As we move towards a new recovery strategy, do let us know what big or small ideas should be on the agenda.

If you’re a leader in the VCSE sector – not necessarily a manager of an organisation, but maybe a community speaker or a fundraising champion – this is also a reminder to join our network of Sector Leaders