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Bucks charities already struggling before coronavirus

Community Impact Bucks' survey shows the demand on the voluntary sector has increased.

Published by Scarlett Bawden-Gaul at 8:00am 27th June 2020. 3-minute read.

Bucks charities already struggling before coronavirus

Demand on Buckinghamshire volunteer groups has increased. 

The volunteer sector in Buckinghamshire is under increasing demand but is over stretched according to a new report. 

Community Impact Bucks, the group behind the report, say the volunteer sector was already facing difficulties before the coronavirus outbreak. 

Katie Higginson, is Chief Executive of CIB:

"We 4,750 formal voluntary organisations in Buckinghamshire and the majority of those are working very locally in an area so these groups really know the people they're working with and the support they need.

"Through those services they take pressure off the NHS for example, so 95% said they make a positive difference to health and well being. 

"But, our report shows that more than half, 58%, saw an increase in demand for services in the area and we can assume the pandemic will have made that grow even further. 

"The report also found some of the most common challenges for these groups was around funding, so while demand is growing nearly a third had to dip into their reserves to cover day to day running costs."

Thousands of volunteers stepped forward to support the vulnerable during the pandemic, with many more expected to have helped without being part of an organisation. 

The difficulty is that the need for support from before coronavirus will still be there, with the addition of those who need help following the outbreak. 

Katie explains that these charities and groups will need support more than ever to keep helping the community:

"The pandemic has shown what an amazing community spirit we have here in Bucks. 

"As we more through a recovery period we are very much hoping they will have discovered how rewarding it is and continue to volunteer in different ways.

"But we also know the pandemic has really hit our charities finances hard, they've lost lots of fundraising from charity events and they've had to close their shops.

"So our charities are really struggling, those who were stretch or over stretched, those who were already dipping into their reserves, they're less resilient to recover from COVID-19.

"We do worry that we are going to lose some of the viral services because of this. I would say to Bucks residents if you do have a local charity do go and donate if you can, or raise some funds to help them survive."

Community Impact Bucks is currently working on a report to show the impact of the outbreak on voluntary services.

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