A group of infrastructure groups and regional bodies, dedicated to ensuring the resilience and development of community and voluntary organisations, have come together to strengthen their support for the sector during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Community and voluntary groups have long been a vital resource for communities and are needed now more than ever. Food banks, shelters, crisis support groups, mental health services and many more organisations are responding to huge demand for their services and are working tirelessly to ensure people are supported.

The sector has adapted quickly and effectively but is also facing new issues, financial pressures, and an uncertain future.

In response, eight infrastructure charities and regional bodies have joined forces to ensure that the support available is meeting demand. South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation, Barnsley CVS, Voluntary Action Doncaster, Voluntary Action Rotherham, Voluntary Action Sheffield, South Yorkshire Funding Advice Bureau, the Sheffield City Region and South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System are working together in partnership with the University of Sheffield.

As a first step, they have launched a survey for community sector groups to complete about how they have adapted during Covid-19 and to detail the problems they currently face.

Ruth Willis, Chief Executive of South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation said: “The purpose of this survey is to ensure that we can continue to do our best to help our essential community organisations. Every response we get means we can better advocate for community sector interests and to adapt ourselves to meet local needs. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to fill the survey in. The more responses we get the better we are able to help.”

Sir Andrew Cash, Chief Executive Lead at South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System, said: “The voluntary and community sector organisations across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw have been playing a vital role in offering advice, signposting and direct help to many thousands of people throughout the early days and weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is crucial that we hear from them to understand how they have adapted which will in turn help to shape what future support and services could look like.”

To complete the survey, go to: www.sycf.org.uk/survey/