State of the Sector Report highlights challenges for the city’s voluntary organisations

Monday, June 12, 2023

Newly-published research has highlighted that nearly one in three voluntary sector organisations in Portsmouth are concerned they will not survive the year.

HIVE Portsmouth, which conducted the research for its State of the Sector Report, heard from dozens of Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations from across the city.

The rising demand for services, increasing costs, stagnant income and the increasingly complex issues and needs of service users were all cited as creating a highly challenging environment for the sector.

Being able to recruit staff and volunteers was also highlighted as an issue, as was the struggle to compete with rising wages in other sectors.  

70% of organisations said that the cost of living crisis had affected their financial situation, while 83% told HIVE Portsmouth that the level of demand on their services has either increased or stayed the same since the start of the crisis in October 2021.

Only 70% of organisations said they felt either fairly or very optimistic that they will still be operating in 12 months’ time, with the remaining 30% concerned they would not survive the year.

Father Bob White, Chair of HIVE Portsmouth Trustees said: “This report makes for sobering reading. The importance and value of these small groups to the health and wellbeing of the people of Portsmouth should not be underestimated.

“Despite all of its challenges, the VCSE sector remains passionate, committed, innovative and adaptable. We’re very lucky to have such passionate and committed people working hard within the sector to provide services to those who need support.

“HIVE Portsmouth remains committed to maintaining a resilient and robust VCSE sector and the evidence in this report is crucial in us understanding the impact the cost of living crisis is having not only on the organisations but on their staff, volunteers and the people they work with.”

Read the full report here

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