Half voluntary groups in city face cash crisis
NEARLY half of voluntary and community groups in Bristol say they are in a financial crisis, according to a report by the charity, Voscur.
The report called Under Pressure, says 40 per cent of them are under immense strain from the effects of the recession and a variety of funding cuts, both local and national.
Voscur, which provides a range of support services to the voluntary and community sector, released the report to coincide with the city council's budget discussions for the next financial year.
Bristol mayor George Ferguson is planning to cut £35 million from the budget although he says he is determined to safeguard frontline services as much as possible.
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Other key statistics highlighted in the report:
â 72 per cent of local groups have experienced cuts in funding/income from a range of sources.
â 62 per cent have had to use their reserves, or plan to use them in the next 12 months, to cover shortfalls in income.
â 80 per cent of groups have experienced an increase in demand for their services.
Matthew Symonds, from Voscur said: "There is a real danger that we will lose expertise that exist in the city that support some of the most vulnerable people.
"Our research shows local charities and community groups face reduced funding, struggling to meet existing demands for services and have immense pressure to provide new services, with no extra cash.
"We are calling for the mayor, city council and other funders to protect the voluntary sector from any further reductions in funding.
"Charities and community groups provide excellent services at low cost, and most importantly they come up with local solutions to issues, empowering people to help themselves."
The report, which presents a range of proposals that will help to protect charities and community groups can be found on the website, www.voscur.org/voscurreports.