top of page

Looming workforce challenges facing the Third Sector

There are about 200,000 Third Sector organisations (TSOs), about 40% of them are employers. The sector has a paid workforce of about 1.1 million people. Over the last two years, 20% of Third Sector employers have found it harder to retain staff and 43% have experienced recruitment problems.

Problems with recruitment are widespread across England and Wales – but it is most intense in North East England (54%), North West England (48%) and in Wales (46%). Recruitment problems are most severe in the largest organisations: 79% of TSOs with income between £1million and £25million are experiencing recruitment problems.

Difficulties surrounding employee retention intensify the challenging staffing situation many organisations face. Again, this is most serious in North East England (25%). Retention problems are most severe in the biggest organisations (53%) but affect organisations of all sizes. There are about 4.3 million regular volunteers working in the Third Sector. In workload terms, this is equivalent to 190,000 full-time equivalent employees.

Many organisations are facing challenges in sustaining the energy produced by volunteers. Over a quarter of organisations (26%) have been losing volunteers who joined them during the Coronavirus pandemic. 41% the biggest organisations (income £1million - £25million) are losing these volunteers compared with 18% of the smallest TSOs (income below £10,000).

The composition of the volunteer workforce has been changing in the last two years. Nearly half of organisations (48%) state that it has been harder to hold on to older volunteers. A fifth of TSOs (20%) say that they now have more volunteers aged under 30, and just over a fifth of organisations (22%) report that their voluntary workforce has become more ethnically diverse.

Sustaining support from trustees is vital for organisations: but 17% of organisations report that the number of trustees has fallen over the last two years. Regular volunteers produce about one fifth of the ‘energy’ that the Third Sector brings into its work. And in small organisations, volunteers put in all or most of that energy.

80% of organisations say that they rely mainly on volunteers who can commit time on a very regular basis. Over three quarters of TSOs rely on volunteers who can work unsupervised. Reliance on regular volunteers who can work unsupervised is stronger in organisations based in more affluent areas (83%) than in the poorest areas (64%).

85% of organisations state that they could not keep going without regular volunteers, and 65% of regular volunteers are reported to be service users and beneficiaries.

Martyn’s Law Factsheet 

There have been 14 terror attacks in the UK since 2017. These tragic attacks have caused deaths and casualties amongst people going about their everyday lives.  The terrorist threat we currently face is multifaceted, diverse, and continually evolving. As such, it remains difficult to predict which locations could be targeted by terrorists with attempts being harder to spot and harder to stop.  

 We need to improve security and ensure robust, proportionate, and consistent measures at public places to make sure we can better prepare and improve public security, in light of possible future attacks.  

 We are aware through engagement with industry that, without legal compulsion, counter terrorism security efforts often fall behind legally required activities. The prioritisation, consideration and application of security processes and

measures is currently inconsistent. 

What will Martyn’s Law do?  

Martyn’s Law will keep people safe, enhancing our national security and reducing the risk to the public from terrorism by the protection of public venues.  It will place a requirement on those responsible for certain locations to consider the threat from terrorism and implement appropriate and proportionate mitigation measures.  

The legislation will ensure parties are prepared, ready to respond and know what to do in the event of an attack. Better protection will be delivered through enhanced security systems, staff training, and clearer processes. 

It is proposed that the Duty will apply to eligible locations which are either: a building (including collections of buildings used for the same purposes, e.g., a campus); or location/event (including a temporary event) that has a defined boundary, allowing capacity to be known. Eligible locations whose maximum occupancy meets the above specified thresholds will be then drawn into the relevant tier.  

How will it work?  

The Bill will impose a duty on the owners and operators of certain locations to increase their preparedness for and protection from a terrorist attack by requiring them to take proportionate steps, depending on the size and nature of the activities that take place there.  

How will Martyn’s Law be enforced?  

An inspection capability will be established to seek to educate, advise, and ensure compliance with the Duty. Where necessary, the inspectorate will use a range of sanctions to ensure that breaches are effectively dealt with.   

One Simple Way to Boost Your Funds in 2023

Easyfundraising has been helping good causes benefit from free funding from online shopping since 2007. Over £43m has been raised for good causes and charities across the UK, and your organisation can be a part of it too.

Easyfundraising partners with 7,300 online retailers that will donate a percentage of what a shopper spends with them back to your organisation at no extra cost to anyone. Many retailers such Tesco, ASS, H&M and Homebase take part in the scheme.

Space Youth Services have raised over £650 so far and say easyfundraising is the helping hand that allows them to fundraise easily for their essential needs: “It’s useful to be able to raise unrestricted donations. We would definitely recommend it to other charities as a simple, straightforward way of raising additional funds that requires little in the way of input and maintenance.”


Bringing volunteers into care homes to improve quality of life says report

The report, Reimagining Social Care – The Role of Active Citizenship, authored by Dr Julie MacInnes, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Kent and Dr Allison Smith, Head of Research & Insight at Royal Voluntary Service in partnership with Anchor – sets out to explore the contribution of volunteering to social care.

The study explored the advantage that volunteer roles have a significant impact on residents, families and staff in care homes. Staff said that 94% of residents and 85% of staff felt that volunteers added a lot of value, and volunteers helped lessen the pressure felt by staff.

98% of staff presently working with volunteers indicated they ‘enjoy working with volunteers’ and 90% of staff not currently working with volunteers stated they would like to see more volunteers in care. Those not presently working with volunteers identified companionship, mealtime support encouraging residents to eat and drink and leading social activities as the main benefits they could provide.

For residents, the evidence indicates that some of the benefits to utilising volunteers are improvement in mood, cognitive function and family satisfaction. For staff their stress at work was greatly reduced and improved job satisfaction

Implementing volunteers into care homes put the wellbeing of the staff and residents at the forefront.

According to the research, more than a third 38% of adults would consider volunteering in a care home with 5% planning to do so. Interest is higher amongst younger generations, with 52% of those 18-34 years old saying they would consider volunteering in the sector, 18% of this age cohort because they are thinking about a career in care.

The Road Ahead 2023: Launch Event

This event will take place on Wednesday 25th January at 12am – 1pm via zoom.

Join NCVO at the launch of the Road Ahead 2023. They’ll be exploring the trends, challenges and opportunities facing the voluntary sector in the year ahead.

The Road Ahead is their annual analysis of the changing operating environment for anyone working in the voluntary sector. 

At the launch event you will: 

learn about the most significant trends, opportunities and events that will impact charities and volunteering in 2023

hear discussion from our guest panellists on the practical steps you can take to thrive in the year ahead and beyond

be able to ask questions about what these trends mean for you and the causes you care about.

How to Run Great Community Meetings

This event will take place on Thursday 19th January at 9.30am – 11am via zoom

How to Run Great Community Meetings will be running again this January-March 2023.  Steph Vidal-Hall of the Community Development Practice Hub will be delivering six practical 90-minute zoom sessions to enable 16 participants to run Great Community Meetings, starting Thursday 19th January 2023.  This will be particularly useful for participants from user-led groups who want to include every voice and will include time for you to test and tweak methods for your particular setting and access needs.

We’ll be learning how to enable everyone in the room to do their own best thinking.

How to;

  • get every voice and mind in the room

  • think about challenging subjects with respect and without interruption

  • frame agenda questions that cut to the heart of the matter

  • structure meetings that capture actions people can commit to

  • help citizens build relationships in the room

  • work through problems without telling people what to do

  • adapt methods to your setting and needs

FREE Virtual Meet the Funder Event: Tesco Community Grants

This event will take place on Wednesday 1st February at 10am – 11am via zoom

This Meet the Funder event is with Michelle Brodie, Community and Environment Lead for Groundwork West Midlands.
Through attending you will have the opportunity to take part in a session discussing Tesco Community Grants, whose funding is administered by Groundwork. Tesco Community Grants fund thousands of local community projects across the UK, helping to fight holiday hunger, tackle mental health, support young people, host community events and much more.

By attending this event we aim to give you the opportunity to:

• Ask questions about the relaunch of this grant scheme, including the application process.
• Hear about who the scheme is focused on supporting.
• Identify the current priorities for the scheme.
• Gain an insight into the decision-making processes led by the funder.
• Receive advice direct from Groundwork.

bottom of page