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COVID-19 and VCSE organisations responses


This project, from the Centre for People, Work and Organisational Practice at Nottingham Business School examines the impact of COVID-19 on voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations. In particular, it focuses on providing real-time data about how the pandemic is impacting voluntary organisations working-practices and operations as well as their responses, learning and resilience.

This research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as part of the UK Research and Innovation’s response to COVID-19

Covid research NBS 2

According to a recent government report (DCMS 06/05/2020) the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector is “fighting for survival”, with increased demand for its services, whilst simultaneously facing funding cuts estimated at £4.3bn (during March-May 2020), resulting in many VCSEs organisations estimated to be insolvent ‘within weeks’. As the report states:

Social distancing is making delivering services harder and more costly. Reserves are running out. Smaller charities, in particular, are at risk of imminent closure.

Our purpose

Covid research NBS

This project has emerged through dialogue with key partners in the sector, and co-designed with NCVO, the sector’s leading infrastructure organisation with three purposes in mind:

  1. To provide real-time data and learning on how COVID-19 is impacting the whole sector and, significantly, varies across different organisations by size, structure and services offered.
  2. Present lessons-learned reports regarding the impacts and responses to COVID-19 from organisations; particularly focusing on the new working-practices and innovations which can be scaled across the UK.
  3. To put forward insights which it is envisioned will assist the long-term resilience of the entire VCSE sector.

The outputs from this project are a VCSE vulnerability barometer, providing real-time data of the impact COVID-19 on the sector, lessons-learned reports, enabling innovations to be scaled, a final project report and toolkit for resilience.

The team

The project team brings a unique alignment of researchers from across institutions and organisations specialising in the VCSE sector, HR and innovation, and provide sector knowledge, guidance and access, through their research and policy team and 15,000 members.

Project lead:
Professor Daniel King

Research Associates:
Sarah Smith

Research Team:
Nene Ibokessien
David Dahill 
Noor Ali

Core Team Members:
Professor Helen Shipton
William Rossiter 

Professor Tracey Coule - Sheffield Hallam University

Véronique Jochaum
Lisa Hornung
Keeva Rooney
Oliver Chan

Find out more

Head to our blog to find out more, which will be updated regularly with the latest developments from this project.

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