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Share your experiences & vision for the future of the VCSE Sector

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Organisations and groups from across the city are warmly invited to share their experiences and vision for the future of the VCSE Sector directly into Bristol’s post-Covid-19 recovery strategy by completing a 15-minutes long survey.

This survey is part of a significant new research project, which has been jointly funded by Bristol City Council, Power to Change and Quartet Community Foundation, and it is being undertaken by Black South West Network in partnership with VOSCUR and Locality. The research aims to analyse the impact of COVID-19 on the VCSE Sector in order to assess how to foster greater community resilience in the new operating environment, and ultimately provide evidence for a thoroughly informed overall Sector strengthening recovery strategy.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about radical change to how society works at a dramatic and in some cases catastrophic rate. Many thousands of lives have been lost, disproportionately so amongst BAME communities, the elderly, disabled people, and those living in areas of socio-economic disadvantage. The impact of the Coronavirus on people’s health and economic well-being is likely to sustain far longer than the emergency period. COVID-19 has unmasked inequalities riven through our day-to-day life, much worsened by a decade of austerity. Lockdown has unpeeled social issues too, including dramatic rises in domestic violence, mental health and loneliness, and the condition of our care system for older people to highlight a few. The economy has slowed drastically, to the point that the Bank of England has stated ‘we are experiencing an economic contraction that is faster and deeper than anything we have seen in the past century, or possibly several centuries.’ (Guardian Business Live, 23/04/2020).

Ironically, every crisis – even COVID-19 – brings forth opportunities. For the VCSE sector, COVID-19 has shown it to be a critical source of support and aid, particularly to socio-economically disadvantaged communities in a time of crisis. The VCSE sector not only plays a vital role during the pandemic but will be critical to the recovery and re-imagining societal processes that are an inevitable result of the virus. Therefore, survival, recovery and renewal of the VCSE in this changed environment is vital.

In this context, the over-arching research objectives are: Understanding the role and potential of the VCSE sector in the city going forward, creating the foundations from which to build new ways of working in the city which address inequality from the start and develop a One City approach to recovery which recognises the value and importance of the VCSE in building resilient communities.

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