New report highlights the impact of COVID-19 on Bristol’s VCSE sector

29 September, 2020


Black South West Network (BSWN) has completed new research highlighting the impact that COVID-19 has had on Bristol’s VCSE sector.

The report, Priority Areas for Investment for an effective VCSE recovery post-Covid, assesses how to foster greater community resilience in the new operating environment, and ultimately provide evidence for a thoroughly informed sector that can strengthen a post-lockdown recovery strategy.

This research project has been jointly funded by Bristol City Council, Power to Change and Quartet Community Foundation, and it is being undertaken by Black South West Network in partnership with VOSCUR and Locality.

The main findings include:

  • Most of the community needs emerging from the COVID-19 crisis were already-existing needs that have simply intensified whilst the pandemic exacerbated structural inequalities.
  • The increased demand for VCSE’s services is present across all sectors. Particular attention should be paid to mental health (isolation, loneliness and anxiety) as it was the most cited and discussed amongst the community needs’ to be prioritised for recovery.
  • The crisis has shown a light on the real dimension of digital exclusion and technological poverty, and the connected issues of lack of access to information and inclusive communications.
  • Long-term planning is hindered by uncertainty and also by the lack of long-term core funding available.
  • Organisations are requesting more flexible, unrestricted, long-term grant funding to cover non-COVID-19 related expenses (administration and communication costs, wages in general) and the scaling-ups required to meet the new waves of service demand.

Download the full report or the executive summary.

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