Respond, recover, reset: the voluntary sector and COVID-19

Reports | Barometer Dashboards | Blog (NCVO)

We are pleased to share with you our full ‘Respond, recover, reset: Two years on’report Please have a read and get in touch with the team to let us know your thoughts.

A huge thank you to all of the organisations who got involved, shared and contributed to the research. Without you none of this would have been possible.

More outputs to follow, and you can view/download all of our lessons learned reports in the archive. Whilst you’re here, don’t forget to check out the Barometer Dashboard; which grants a real-time overview of the health of the Sector, and where organisations stand…

The dashboard can be filtered to show results for various profiles (such as size, main area of service focus, and region)

Click this link and head over to take a look at how the sector is faring.  For any questions or further details, please don’t hesitate to contact us

About the survey: Each round is expected to open and close around the same time each month. For further information regarding data, and ethical standards please see our dedicated information and consent page. Should you experience any issues at any time (such as accessing the links), or for any further information, questions or an informal discussion, please do get in touch with the project team at [email protected] or the project lead Daniel King ([email protected]).

Thank you for taking an interest in this research.


Project Overview: This project examines COVID-19 impact on voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations. In particular, it focuses on providing real-time data about how the pandemic is impacting voluntary organisations working-practices and operations, their responses, learning and resilience.  According to a recent government report (DCMS 06/05/2020) the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector is “fighting for survival”, with increased demand for its serviceswhilst simultaneously facing funding cuts estimated at £4.3bn (during March-May 2020), resulting in many VCSEs organisations estimated to be insolvent ‘within weeks’. As the report states:

 “Social distancing is making delivering services harder and more costly. Reserves are running out. Smaller charities, in particular, are at risk of imminent closure”.

 The main ideas which have underpinned the beginning of this project, emerged through dialogue with key partners in the sector, and was co-designed with NCVO, the sectorleading infrastructure organisation. This was done with 3 purposes in mind:

  • To provide real-time data and learning on how COVID-19 is impacting the whole sector and, significantly, how this varies across different organisations by size, structure and services offered.
  • To present lessons-learned reports regarding the impacts and responses to COVID-19 from organisations; particularly focusing on the new working-practices and innovations which can be scaled across the UK.
  • To put forward insights which it is envisioned will assist the long-term resilience of the entire VCSE sector.

 The project team brings together a unique alignment of researchers from across institutions and organisations specialising in the VCSE sector, HR and innovation; with the NCVO providing invaluable sector knowledge and expertise, guidance and access, through their research and policy team and 15,000 members. 

Expected outputs from this project include a VCSE vulnerability barometer, providing real-time data of the impact COVID-19 on the sector, lessons-learned reports, enabling innovations to be scaled, a final project report and toolkit for resilience. 


The team

The project team brings a unique alignment of researchers from across institutions and organisations specialising in the VCSE sector, HR and innovation, and provide sector knowledge, guidance and access, through their research and policy team and 15,000 members.

Project lead:

Professor Daniel King


Core Team Members:

Professor Helen Shipton

William Rossiter

Professor Tracey Coule – Sheffield Hallam University


Research Team:

William Rossiter

Joanna Stuart

Helen Shipton

Nene Ibokessien

Ghazal Vahidi

David Dahill

Sarah Smith

Hoa Do

Steven Brown

Tracey Coule (Sheffield Hallam)

Adeline Coignet

Juliana Mainard-Sardon

Catherine Spellman



Oliver Chan

Anya Martin

Sean O’Brian

Radiya Hafiza

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Alex Farrow (NCVO)

Véronique Jochaum

Lisa Hornung

Keeva Rooney


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