Navigating challenging times for North Yorkshire charities and social businesses

8 July 2020

Mark Hopley, Head of Community Support North Yorkshire, highlights the greatest challenge facing charities and social enterprises at this time.

There are over 5,000 voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) groups and organisations across North Yorkshire, with both a paid and volunteer workforce. An integral part of Community First Yorkshire, our Community Support North Yorkshire service provides capacity and capability support for civil society organisations of all shapes and sizes across the county.

During the current Covid-19 pandemic the VCSE sector has made a significant difference locally and nationally in supporting the community through difficult times, from keeping communities connected to delivering frontline services.

Our recent VCSE Resilience Survey demonstrated that 41% of North Yorkshire organisations do not anticipate being able to continue beyond October 2020. The predominant factor is funding. Many organisations are currently facing the perfect storm of reduced income at a time when the demands for their services are at an all-time high and in many instances this is not diminishing.

Charity trustees and directors of social businesses as the key decision makers have been able to access short-term funding from a combination of Community Foundations, the National Lottery Fund and Small Business Discretionary Grants.  In many cases this will not be enough, organisations will continue to reduce costs whilst trying to fundraise in a fierce and very competitive external environment.

If you are a charity trustee, director or senior manager and your not for private profit organisation is struggling financially, then I advise you to speak in confidence with a member of the Community Support North Yorkshire team who will listen to your story and help connect you with support that’s bespoke to your needs.

However, the earlier you make contact the better as the number of support options available can diminish the longer you leave it.  So if you are beginning to find cash flow a challenge or if you are anticipating struggling paying bills as they fall due, then now is the time to make that call.  You can contact us either via or by calling our office 01904 704177.  If you need to leave a message someone will return your call as soon as possible.

You can visit our Community Gateway to see the training, events and suite of resources that you may find useful to support and develop your organisation at this time.

Funded by North Yorkshire County Council and NHS North Yorkshire, we have a vision of a capable, collaborative, diverse and influential civil society across North Yorkshire supporting resilient, resourceful and confident communities where co-produced solutions enable people of all ages to be healthier, independent and able to fulfil their ambitions.