Two new data-driven reports from Heart of Bucks and Community Impact Bucks provide a comprehensive picture of the areas of Buckinghamshire that are thriving and where help is needed most
Two local organisations have both published significant reports that offer a detailed, data-driven picture of Buckinghamshire, from where local communities are thriving, to areas of need, to a look at the voluntary sector across the county.
Heart of Bucks, the Community Foundation for Buckinghamshire, have released their report Buckinghamshire Uncovered while Community Impact Bucks, an independent charity that supports people and groups to make a difference in Buckinghamshire communities, have released their State of the Sector Report 2019.
Heart of Bucks and Community Impact Bucks are proud to be working in collaboration to jointly launch these reports, which will help local organisations, including voluntary sector organisations and the cross-sector partners they work with, to enhance the way they work together to meet the needs of Buckinghamshire communities.
About Heart of Bucks’ Buckinghamshire Uncovered
Buckinghamshire Uncovered is a report driven by local and national data on Buckinghamshire that highlights the aspects of our community that are thriving and where help is needed most.
Buckinghamshire is perceived positively and it is not difficult to see why. Over a quarter of the county is within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there are low levels of unemployment and education attainment is high. However, when we dig a little deeper, we discover families living in poverty, problems with obesity and metal health and a high risk of isolation and loneliness amongst the growing elderly population.
Buckinghamshire Uncovered looks at the current state of the county by area of impact. Here, Heart of Bucks introduce their six funding ‘impact categories’:
- Physical and Mental Health, Wellbeing and Safety
- The Arts, Culture and Heritage
- Education and Employment
- Community cohesion
- Reduction of isolation and disadvantage
- Environment and public spaces
The data for this report was collected in mid to late 2019, providing an invaluable snapshot of the county just before the coronavirus pandemic and a vital point of reference to measure the changes that this unprecedented time has brought about.
To read the Buckinghamshire Uncovered full report, or to view the 15-page graphic report, which highlights the key findings of the research, visit: heartofbucks.org/research.
About Community Impact Bucks’ State of the Sector Report 2019
Community Impact Bucks’ annual State of the Sector Report 2019 provides a snapshot of the voluntary sector in Buckinghamshire, giving an insight into the county’s charities and other not-for-profit groups, including key trends and the challenges they face. The report, which looks at the sector within a wider national context, will help organisations from across the sectors work together to plan and fund activity where it is most needed.
The State of the Sector Report 2019 looks into where Bucks voluntary groups are operating and what they are doing, as well as providing evidence of the challenges they face such as funding, increasing demand for services and the continuing impacts of austerity.
Key statistics from the report include:
- There are around 4,750 formal voluntary organisations in Buckinghamshire (including registered charities, unregistered groups and Community Interest Companies)
- 65% work very locally in a specific neighbourhood, village or town
- 32% of voluntary organisations in Bucks had to dip into their reserves to cover essential costs such as rent and salaries in 2019, leaving them less resilient to financial shocks
- 58% of Bucks voluntary organisations experienced an increased demand for services in 2019
To read the State of the Sector Report 2019 and view the infographic highlighting some of the report’s key findings, visit Community Impact Bucks’ reports.
Henry Allmand, CEO of Heart of Bucks, said:
“Buckinghamshire Uncovered is our most detailed study of the county in our twenty years as the Community Foundation for Buckinghamshire.
It is a time of great change for Buckinghamshire. A new unitary authority gives hope to an even more distinct identity for our county. We are encouraged by the formation of new Community Boards that will establish truly local links between the authority and the community, and we hope that this independent analysis of Buckinghamshire will be as helpful to our partners in local government, as the charities and communities they represent.
The chapter for a new decade in Buckinghamshire is being defined. Our county’s response to the impact and disruption of the coronavirus pandemic has been exceptional. Now more than ever, a deep understanding of the needs and requirements of our county is needed. Looking to the future, Heart of Bucks will strive to continue to provide detailed research and analysis that our whole community can access.”
Katie Higginson, CEO of Community Impact Bucks, said:
“The State of the Sector report records the shape of the voluntary sector in Buckinghamshire only a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting how many were struggling financially even before the crisis.
Over the last three months, we have all seen the power of voluntary action as our communities came together to respond to the pandemic. Right from the start of the crisis, Buckinghamshire’s charities, voluntary and community groups were ready to respond to changing needs and set about tackling the impact of the pandemic on our communities. This voluntary action has been the glue that has held our communities together, providing essential services and support for the most vulnerable. The services our voluntary sector provides have been never more needed.”
About Heart of Bucks
Heart of Bucks is the community foundation for the county; a charitable funding organisation that awards grants and loans to local causes, charities and community groups.
Part of UKCF, the national network of community foundations, we are one of 46 foundations dedicated to improving the lives of people in a defined local geographical area. Based in the centre of Aylesbury, Heart of Bucks has a unique understanding of the needs of Buckinghamshire and, through research and outreach work, we ensure that funding reaches groups and charities who need it most and can use it effectively.
As one of the largest non-statutory funders in the county, together with our donors, Heart of Bucks have supported more than 3,500 community organisations since our first grant payment in 2000. To date, we have distributed over £8.7m in grants and loans across Buckinghamshire.
About Community Impact Bucks
Community Impact Bucks is an independent charity that supports people and groups to get involved and make a difference in Buckinghamshire communities. We offer expert advice and training, help people to find volunteering opportunities, and help charities and not for profit groups to get started, be effective and grow.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Community Impact Bucks has brought together a range of advice and guidance to support the voluntary sector, is in dialogue with local partners and national voluntary sector bodies and is sharing information, knowledge, and ideas as changes unfold.