Report shines light on the role of smaller charities

Small charities ‘showed up and stuck around’ to support people throughout the Covid 19 pandemic when others could not, according to a new report.

The report by the Lloyds Bank Foundation found that smaller charities showed ‘tremendous energy, flexibility, and professionalism’ in responding to the current crisis.

Researchers found that smaller charities addressed four main areas of need – access to food, isolation and loneliness, information, and mental health/wellbeing – in ways that were tailored to different groups and communities experiencing complex social issues, such as homelessness or mental ill health, and economic disadvantage.

It also found they ‘showed up and stuck’ around, using their position of trust within communities to support people throughout the crisis when they were needed most.

This contrasts with parts of the public sector, which were slower to react early on, and informal support and mutual aid, which dissipated over time, according to the report.

‘Small charities’ knowledge of local communities is unparalleled, and has allowed them to provide effective services to those who’ve needed them the most during this most challenging of times,’ said Foundation chief executive, Paul Streets.

‘If government really wants to help people through Covid and beyond it should invest more in small frontline charities – who are already on the ground in their communities and achieve fantastic results – and less in big top-down private contracts. We call on government, councils, and other funders to act on the report’s recommendations to ensure small charities can be there to help the county and communities recover and rebuild”.”

Chris Dayson, principal research fellow in the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, added: ‘We’ve always known the value of small charities, but in conducting our research we found that they were truly going above and beyond to help communities adapt and respond to reach people that others can’t and stay engaged where others won’t.

‘As our report shows, small and local charities provide a distinct value to individuals, public services, economies and communities. Decision makers need to recognise this value and support small charities to survive and thrive.’

Photo Credit – Free-Photos (Pixabay)


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