Community Works Shares Impact of Third Sector Organisations in the City

Community Works releases the most detailed research into the value of third sector organisations in Brighton and Hove since 2013.

Now in its fourth iteration, this report – along with an infographic summary, six case studies and other background material – will be available to all, free of charge.

“From grassroots community groups to medium and large voluntary organisations – they all play a critical role in the health and wellbeing of our residents, our environment and our city. This report is a timely reminder of just how important they are.” Nancy Platts, Leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.

Taking Account 4 illustrates the extensive social, environmental and economic contribution of local organisations. The following key messages have emerged:

  1. The Third Sector in Brighton & Hove contributes economic as well as social and environmental value to the city.
  2. Community, collaboration, co-production, activism, diversity and inclusion are core principles and are the bedrock of the sector.
  3. Working together across sectors is important but the independence of the third sector is essential.
  4. While overall the sector has demonstrated resilience, some areas and fields of work have been disproportionately affected by funding cuts.

From the thousands of hours of volunteering provided and enabled by community groups and charities, to the range of services provided in our vibrant city, it shows some of the changes many organisations have had to make in recent years.

The results show that organisations have improved and sharpened the methods used to measure the value of charitable provision to show impact to funders. While public sector funding has decreased exponentially, awareness of what constitutes need has become more true to life across the sectors, allowing grassroots groups to continue to have huge positive impacts on people’s day-to-day lives.

Local HIV support charity acts on loneliness and increases demand for its services

An example is drawn from one of the case studies organisations: the multi-award winning Lunch Positive.

Lunch Positive has strengthened its focus on reducing social isolation and bringing people together for mutual support, rather than the delivery of specific health initiatives. This largely relates to a shift in policy which recognises the impact that loneliness has on health. The organisation achieves the same health outcomes as previously, but the focus on bringing people together to support each other means the project reaches a wider group of people, including those who don’t usually engage and who are also often those with more complex needs.

You can find out more information about the work of Lunch Positive with people who are living with HIV at www.lunchpositive.org

Free tools for impact reporting in Brighton and Hove

Community Works has also published accompanying reports for local third sector organisations to use as tools. They include statistics for funding bids and reporting, and organisations are welcome to use them and do not need to ask for permission.

This research has taken place at five-year intervals since 2003, so is a useful tool both to see the current situation as it stands today, as well as looking back to how the community and voluntary sector used to look.

“Our enormous thanks to all the organisations that took part across the city. This report celebrates their achievements and recognises the challenges they are working with.” – Angie Greany from Community Works, lead partner in the Taking Account 4 survey.

Taking Account 4 is available to read FREE at www.takingaccount.org.uk

About Community Works

Community Works values voluntary and community action and believes it makes society and local areas better. To achieve this they create the support and networks that help people and organisations to use their time, expertise and energy effectively.