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BaNES 3rd Sector Survey Report

Last week, BaNES 3rd Sector Group (3SG), revealed the results of its 2021-22 Annual Survey of the Third Sector in Bath and North East Somerset.

The findings give a clear insight into the challenges facing local charities and other non-profit organisations in the year ahead, with survey results showing that the top three unmet needs in BaNES are mental health, isolation and loneliness, and access to support services. The results also show that charities are struggling with funding issues, Covid-19 restrictions, high demand, staff wellbeing and volunteer recruitment.

Areas of concern

Six key areas of concern for the third sector in BaNES were highlighted. These were:

Long-term funding & financial viability – 90% of respondents are worried about finding sustainable, long-term funding opportunities and 65% of organisations are concerned about their current financial viability.

Staff wellbeing – 84% of organisations are concerned about the wellbeing of their staff after the pandemic and dealing with heavy workloads, fatigue and recruitment challenges.

Impact of Covid-19 – 54% of organisations have been unable to re-open all of their pre-pandemic services, leading to a lack of access to support services and activities in the community.

Unmet demand for services – 46% of organisations are currently working at 100% capacity or over, with the biggest unmet needs of charity beneficiaries including mental health needs, isolation, loneliness and getting access to support. 

Volunteer Recruitment – 48% of organisations have difficulty recruiting volunteers, as many volunteers have stepped down due to the risks of Covid-19.

Using Reserves – 41% of organisations have three months or less of expenditure in their reserves, while 33% of organisations are using their financial reserves to cover core costs.

Increases in collaboration

While the report reveals the unmet needs in the community and the pressures that the third sector is under, there were positive findings, such as an increase in collaboration between local charities. 

Kate Morton, CEO of Bath Mind and Chair of 3SG’s Board of Trustees said:

This year’s results show that funding issues, Covid-19 restrictions, high demand, limited capacity, staff wellbeing and volunteer recruitment remain challenging. Mental health also continues to be a major unmet need across the BaNES community along with isolation, loneliness and access to services. However, it is good news to see that collaboration is on the rise between charities which will facilitate the sharing of limited resources to help local communities.

James Carlin BEM, Director at BaNES 3rd Sector Group (3SG) commented:

In light of the survey results I hope the wider community of BaNES will come together to support local charities as much as possible as they fight to recover from the pandemic by attending their fundraising events, making donations or giving time either by working in a charity job or as a volunteer.

View 3SG’s 3rd Sector Annual Survey Report in full here. You can also find out how 3SG support charities and third sector organisations with training, advice and networking events here.

Posted on: 15th February 2022

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