“Invest in a crucial sector or risk losing it”, say Manchester’s voluntary sector leaders
by Helen Walker, Policy and Influence worker, Macc
Leaders of Manchester-based charities have shared their experiences of the Covid-19 crisis and their thoughts for the future in a new report produced by Macc, Manchester’s local voluntary and community sector support organisation.
Titled No Going Back, the report brings together the experiences of 22 local voluntary sector leaders who shine a light on the critical role that the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector has played during the response to the Covid-19 crisis. As well as reflecting on the lessons learned during the crisis, the leaders make the case for change going forward and highlight the unique opportunity society has to make things better in the future.
Commenting on the launch of the report, Mike Wild, chief executive of Macc said “Manchester’s 3,000+ voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations have responded amazingly to the crisis. They have remade services so people can stay connected and supported during lockdown, worked to ensure nobody is left without access to food, shelter, care, wellbeing support, mental health support, creative activities and provided support around pre-existing matters which had nothing directly to do with Covid-19.
“The sector’s resilience has been tested in ways few of us have ever experienced. That this has taken place at the same time as a sudden drop in fundraising and other activities which generate income for VCSE organisations, speaks to their dedication to make a difference when they are most needed. It is estimated there has been a loss of over £10bn in the sector across the country, yet this has not deterred Manchester VCSE organisations from responding.
“There is a crucially important lesson to be drawn from the voluntary sector’s response to the Covid-19 crisis. That is that these organisations are part of the resilience of our communities and we need them to be there – and never more so than in a crisis. No Going Back tells their story. Manchester’s marvellously diverse vibrant, messy, gumption-filled, voluntary, community and social enterprise sector has risen to the challenge of the moment and we must build on this, invest in it or risk losing it altogether.”
For more information and to read No Going Back, please visit the Manchester Community Central website.