Voices from the Pandemic: Volume 2


Even in the depths of the crisis, there have been opportunities for funders, charities and communities: the chance to make permanent and bold changes to how they work. In this new volume, thought leaders share their ideas and opinions on the future.

Natsayi Sithole of Save the Children UK describes why localism matters, and how a national organisation can find its place in the ecosystem without overshadowing or distorting the work of small, grassroots groups. Thomas Lawson of Turn2us highlights the challenges of equality and equity, looking honestly at power and how we can use it to make a fairer society. Edel Harris and Ciara Lawrence of Mencap explain the importance of voice: who gets heard and amplified, and how the voluntary sector can take its seat at the table for strategic planning and decision-making.

We also look at the role of local infrastructure in enabling frontline work. Richard Jackson explains how Voluntary Action Leeds helped to channel 8,000 new volunteers to meaningful roles, supporting the wider system of agencies across the city. From Citizens UK, CEO Matthew Bolton and local leaders Fiona Tasker and Salma Ravat share their work to build the capacity of people from disadvantaged areas to participate in public life and their communities.

Across all the interviews, we’ve heard how organisations looked for solutions as they navigated the challenges of the crisis. Here are ideas on how the sector can respond and grow to meet an unpredictable future: the questions it needs to ask, and the changes it can make for the communities it serves.