Three Things for Thursday – 2nd July 2020

Hi folks

This week is an attempt to pull out the key relevant bits from the reports that are currently being circulated and talked about – hopefully its helpful!
As always we hope that you are all doing ok, remember we are here to help and support you, so don’t be shy and get in touch

TSI Coronavirus Survey – the purpose of the survey was to give a deeper understanding of the impact of Covid-19 on the Third Sector in Scotland. Please see the key relevant findings below and for the full report click here.

Key Findings

  • The financial situation of social enterprises as a consequence of covid 19 is perilous, and, without urgent financial support, many will not recover. 81% of social enterprises are experiencing a reduction in income from trading and 86% of social enterprises expect their financial position to worsen.
  • A key pinch point in the financial recovery of all organisations will be the cessation of the Job Retention Scheme. 58% of social enterprises and 39% of voluntary organisations with staff have furloughed staff and support will be required to avoid job losses.
  • Organisations have been entrepreneurial and adaptive during this period. Half of all organisations have changed what they do,or have modified delivery support to their community/ service users. 9% of social enterprises have started online trading during this time.
  • Organisations are seeing first-hand the impact of Covid 19 on people’s mental health and are very concerned about the impact now and the future. 9 out 10 organisations are concerned about the effect of ongoing social distancing and shielding on mental health.
  • It is clear that community has flourished and risen to the challenge of supporting each other. A significant majority of organisations (84%) report that people are looking out for each other and 50% of organisations believe that there has been improved collaboration.

Report of the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery – this report by Benny Higgins is being used at national and local level to help shape recovery and it includes this section on the third sector:

The Third Sector

The Scottish Government should take action to protect the capacity and financial sustainability of the third sector, in recognition of its important role in building and strengthening social capital. It should examine the scope for longer-term funding arrangements for services; more flexible and collaborative approaches to procurement; and new ways to incentivise private investment in the sector.

The third sector provides a central component of Scotland’s social capital. The activities and services it provides and supports have been of critical importance in maintaining a level of community resilience during the crisis. They will be just as important in the period of economic recovery, supporting young people, employability, health and wellbeing.

During the period of lockdown the sector has not been able to raise income from trading, fund-raising and investment, so its already thin financial reserves are perilously tight. Looking ahead, the coming recession will certainly increase the demand for the services that the sector provides, while the likely squeeze on public spending following the current largescale emergency Government expenditure will reduce the state’s ability to meet needs, and also reduce the funds flowing to the sector.

Given the risks, it seems clear that if a different approach to the sector is not built into Scotland’s recovery plans, it will not be able to carry on as it has in the past. Without support and investment, it might not survive. So we think that it is essential to put the third sector at the heart of planning for recovery and renewal, recognising its critical contribution to the goal of a wellbeing economy in Scotland.

As an immediate first step, we were pleased to see the Scottish Government’s announcement of a £25 million Third Sector Resilience Fund to address the short-term emergency. But action on a larger scale and a wider front is needed to secure the future.

Aspiring to trade – if you are a charity looking to generate income by trading then Just Enterprise’s online event which will give you support in how to keep within the law. Taking place on the 7th July, 11:15am – 12:45pm. Click here to book.