Almost three quarters of Swindon charities report increased demand for services

By Barrie Hudson - 4 December 2023

  • A VAS conference

    A VAS conference

Voluntary Action Swindon has unveiled key results of its Sector Survey 2022-2023.

The organisation, a charity supporting charities, set out to identify challenges and trends in the Voluntary and Community Sector throughout the town.

In response to the unprecedented economic challenges and the enduring impacts of the pandemic, VAS conducted its Sector Survey a year earlier than scheduled. 

The survey, conducted via Survey Monkey and disseminated through email and the VAS ID newsletter, ran from 16 August to 15 September, drawing insights from diverse charitable, non-profit, and community organisations across Swindon. 

The most significant insights include:

- Increased Demand and Service Cuts. Of the organisations surveyed, 73 percent of organisations reported an increase in demand for their services over the last 12 months. In contrast, 23 percent had to make tough decisions to cut or reduce their services to cope with the challenges.

- Volunteer Shortage.  43 percent of organisations revealed that they did not have enough volunteers to meet the growing demand for their services.

- Financial Strain. Financial challenges were evident, with 26 percent of organisations dipping into reserves to 'balance the books,' and 36 percent experiencing a decrease in overall income in the past year.

- Fundraising and Skills Shortage. The sector identified skills gaps in EDI awareness, fundraising, social media, and website management.

- Size and Staffing. 70 percent of surveyed organisations have less than 10 paid staff members, emphasising the sector's reliance on volunteers.

- Income Distribution. 30 percent of organisations reported an annual income of less than £10,000, highlighting financial vulnerability within the sector.

- Volunteer Engagement. Volunteers play a crucial role, with 76 percent stating that 'word of mouth' was the most effective method for recruiting volunteers.

The full report can be found at


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