The 2015 State of the Sector survey has now closed.
As many of you will be aware, our State of the Sector survey is open (it closes on the 24th July) offering you the opportunity to tell your story about the voluntary sector’s role in the rehabilitation and resettlement of people in the Criminal Justice System.
We want to know how your organisation and service users are faring; what successes or challenges are you experiencing? Have you managed to develop new services and grow as an organisation, or are you at risk of closure? What impact have recent policy changes had on the needs of your service users? Are their needs becoming more complex?
Clinks’ role is to make your voice heard by policy makers, including politicians, but to do this we have to uncover the answers to these questions. I encourage you to complete this year’s survey and strengthen the sectors’ collective voice.
What have we found so far?
To date we have had 75 responses, which is great, but with your support we are hoping to increase the response rate in the coming weeks. Firstly, I thought you might be interested in some of the emerging trends we are seeing.
- Organisations are spending more time on income generation. Some organisations are telling us this has had a positive impact and led to more funding and increased service provision, yet many are telling us that increasing their time on fundraising activity is having a negative impact on their organisation. One respondent says:
“Whilst writing bids, searching for funding and trying to assure employees the future is bright, time is taken away from what we do, there are only so many hours in a day…with current funding only covering the bare essentials there is little room to expand on what we do.”
- Organisations are working with higher numbers of service users, and the needs of those service users are increasing - both in terms of variety and severity.
- The results so far also show that organisations continue to rely on the support of volunteers, and on the whole, volunteer recruitment is increasing.
We recently heard from one of our members, Safe Ground, about some of their recent experiences – you can read the blog here.
Where are the gaps?
Once again we have support from the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion (CESI). Each week, CESI are undertaking a brief analysis of the survey responses and are comparing them against the National Survey of Charities and Social Enterprises (NSCSE) to see if they are representative of the sector working in criminal justice.
Their analysis shows that on the whole we have received a good range of responses, yet there are some organisations and areas of work that are underrepresented. To ensure that the final survey results reflect the experiences of the whole sector working in criminal justice, it is especially important that we hear from organisations that are working:
- to support young people aged 16-24;
- with faith communities or whose main area of work is religious or faith-based activity;
- to support education and lifelong learning;
- to provide training;
- to support service users through sports and recreational activities.
More information about the survey can be found in a previous blog which you can read here.
We look forward to hearing from you!
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The RR3 special interest group on Covid-19 will today convene voluntary sector leaders to discuss what is needed to mitigate the impacts of the virus on CJS voluntary organisations and the service users they support. We'll publish the key points from the discussion in a blog.