Report finds pressure is mounting for local charities after Covid-19

New analysis from Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales found that, while emergency funding ensured that many charities could adapt to continue to support people during the pandemic, many now face an uncertain future.

The report found that small and local charities are continuing to adapt rapidly to the changing needs of their communities, staff and volunteers, but they are facing a new set of challenges, from rising complexity of services to insecure funding and staff burnout.

The charities found that short-term funding prevalent in 2020 is making it difficult for them to address long-term problems made worse by the pandemic.

They also reported difficulties in recruiting new staff during the pandemic, which has worsened pressure on existing staff, who were already experiencing increased mental health and wellbeing issues and a higher risk of burnout.

The Foundation is calling on funders and local and national government to provide longer-term unrestricted funding, invest in organisation resilience and staff wellbeing, build a robust welfare safety net, and suitably resource public services, as a result of their findings.

person in blue crew neck t-shirt holding white plastic bag

Paul Streets, chief executive of Lloyds Bank Foundation, said: ‘The crisis has exacerbated existing inequalities and deeply impacted our communities, the effects of which will be felt for years to come. Small and local charities, which by design are rooted within their communities, have been vital to the humanitarian response.

‘They showed up and stuck around throughout the pandemic in ways that others couldn’t, didn’t and wouldn’t. They also face insurmountable challenges. Alongside the rising demand and complexity for their services and the wellbeing of their staff and volunteers, they are seeing great fluxes in their income. The short-term funding which helped them keep their doors open last year cannot adequately solve the long term problems we face as a direct result of the pandemic. If we are to recover from this crisis, we need to support small charities to survive and thrive.’

Azalea is a small charity, supported by the Lloyds Bank Foundation, that works with women caught n sexual exploitation and poverty, and has reported an increase in the number of women seeking their help and the level of support they need since the first national lockdown.

Ruth Robb, CEO of Azalea, said: ‘Our Covid-19 world has ushered in a challenging economic perspective and yet Azalea has never been so needed. It is projected that living with Covid-19 in our communities means the increase of violence to those trapped in sex trafficking will become a permanent alteration.

‘There are more women who need more than just crisis support including one to one help and more intensive support at the end of their journey with skills to equip them to become independent. We have established therapeutic art group sessions and are trying to set up employability skills training, but this has a big cost both financially and in terms of staff hours. Recognition that the problems caused in the first Lockdown are still with us and if anything, worse, and we are now in a worse position financially as we try to meet the increased need.’

The full report can be accessed here.

In related news, organisations across Liverpool are collaborating to tackle the safety of women and girls in the city at night.

Photo by Joel Muniz


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top