The Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership (CVSL) is part of the research team, funded by the Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, which has launched The Value of Small in a Big Crisis report. Against the backdrop of the pandemic, this builds on and expands the findings of the original The Value of Small research in 2018.
The new report finds that it is the distinctiveness of small and local charities which makes them best placed to respond to the Covid-19 crisis. They have used their position of trust within communities experiencing complex social issues to support people, contrasting with parts of the public sector which were slower to react, before informal support and mutual aid has dissipated over time.
It calls on the government, funders and the wider voluntary sector to recognise the value of small charities and foster a thriving and resilient population of small and local charities. They will be central to rebuilding after the pandemic, contributing to the transformational change needed for society and the economy to fully recover and prosper.
The project is led by Sheffield Hallam University and also includes the Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) and the University of Wolverhampton. Baroness Diana Barran joined colleagues from the various partner organisations to discuss their findings on Tuesday 23 February and reflect on how small charities have been responding to the challenges of the pandemic.