The 2016 survey report has been published

This can be downloaded as a pdf.

We have also produced some slides that pull out some of the key facts.

2016 Cambridgeshire VCS survey from Cambridge Council for Voluntary Service

Across Cambridgeshire it is getting harder for voluntary groups to continue delivering services. And yet they do continue. They continue to innovate, they continue to care and they continue to make a difference, they are survivors

It is essential that groups are able to access expert and impartial advice, information and training to allow them to continually grow and meet the challenges of a changing operating environment. NCVO said in their Navigating Change report into financial change in small and medium organisations[1]:

“Between 2008/09 and 2012/13 small and medium-sized charities lost income from central and local government in the form of both grants and contracts. However, they increased their earned income by up to 60%, replacing some of the lost income from government, but not enough to cover the shortfall.”

A strong infrastructure support model, as provided by the CVSs, is essential in helping organisations obtain the funds they need, and at the same time ensuring they are aware of changes in legislation that can impact the way they work.

CVS5 believe that there needs to be increased partnership working between statutory and voluntary sectors, that this has to be a partnership of equals and that it is driven by what is best for communities and not simply by a desire to reduce costs. The voluntary sector can provide services that are what is needed by those accessing them but there is a cost. Voluntary is not free.

Once again we have included a list of commitments that we will aspire to. The response to this will depend on the capacity, resources and member needs of each organisation.

Training and Support

  1. We will look at new ways of working to allow organisations to access the information, advice and training they need in a way that suits them.

  2. We will continue to look at ways to help groups increase their income and give them the skills and tools to help them demonstrate the impact of their work.

  3. We will build on our existing training and support to ensure that we are giving groups the skills they need.

Networking and communications

  1. We will look to grow the number of groups we work with and our reach into the sector.

  2. We will look at improving our communications across all sectors.

  3. We will increase our provision of networking opportunities where organisations can, share ideas and discuss common issues.

Representation and Understanding

  1. We will find new ways to promote the sector and help the sector promote itself.

  2. We will look at ways to improve the input we get from members and the sector to ensure their voice is heard.

  3. We will look at ways to enable groups with common priorities and fighting common issues to come together to create change.

Previous years reports 

Every year we undertake a survey of the VCS in Cambridgeshire on behalf of all the CVS organisations in the county. You can read reports on the last two years surveys and look at other information here for 2014, and here for 2015.