Covid-19 Series. What About The Third Sector? - Written by Ed Parker.
We live in the most extraordinary times. All of us need to adapt to new surroundings and we are all restricted in how we live, but we still need to achieve.
There is currently huge pressure on NHS staff, those who work in supermarkets and the supply chain and emergency services. Students still need to learn and parents are cooped up all day with children who are getting bored. And for charities, we too are facing hardship.
As yet the Third Sector hasn’t been mentioned by the government. In Q2 this year, it is estimated charities will lose £1bn of revenue and how can we predict fundraising for the rest of the year? Some estimates show voluntary income falling by as much as 48%. Of course some organisations can stop and furlough staff, but there are many, such as Walking With The Wounded, who cannot.
Today we have an active caseload of 1,029 veterans and family members across the UK. By the nature of our work, these men and women are vulnerable and ‘at risk’. We cannot just put them on hold during these uncertain times. If we don’t provide continuity to our care, many of these people will have a significant deterioration of their mental health, putting unnecessary strain on our already stretched statutory services.
Normally we have a high degree of face-to-face time, but our staff have adapted brilliantly to managing their beneficiaries digitally. We continue to see very positive outcomes as well as accepting new referrals into our programmes. Give or take, it is business as usual. We are achieving. And that is crucial as we can provide support and resource to our biggest partner, the NHS. We can be part of the solution, albeit a small one.
So, my question is what’s next? We’ve seen the government support business and the self-employed, and in both cases this is absolutely what they should’ve done. But what about the Third Sector? What is the Chancellor going to do for it? As a society we naturally protect the vulnerable and those less well off. It is a natural human instinct. We can be part of the solution, but we need the government to act fast before it's too late.