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  • Author or Editor: Chris Dayson x
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This paper provides an overview of research aimed at understanding the implications of the personalisation agenda from the perspective of local infrastructure organisations (LIOs). The findings are considered in terms of the organisational development needs of voluntary sector service providers and the challenges they are likely to face in forthcoming years. The implications of these findings for frontline voluntary organisations and the way they are supported by LIOs are discussed.

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Social innovation is viewed as a solution to developing new services that address complex needs and create ‘social value’, but what constitutes social value and how to measure it is contested. Drawing on a case study of a social prescribing pilot, this paper provides an example of how social value can be evaluated to support decisions by commissioners of socially innovative interventions. It argues that social value presents an epistemological and methodological challenge for commissioners seeking to embed it in decision making and recommends evaluating social innovations though a ‘blended value’ lens.

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Financial vulnerability describes a non-profit organisation's susceptibility to crisis in the wake of financial turbulence, particularly if such crises are likely to culminate in an organisation failing to deliver its mission. As a concept, ‘financial vulnerability’ has particular resonance in times of economic upheaval and uncertainty and it has emerged as one of the pervading discourses of non-profit–state relations in the United Kingdom (UK) during the past four years. Despite this apparent importance, it has been paid relatively little attention by researchers of the UK third sector. This article draws on lessons from research on the financial vulnerability of non-profit organisations in the United States and UK pilot studies to discuss the benefits, applications and methodological challenges of undertaking such research on the UK third sector, and to set out steps that need to be taken if financial vulnerability in the third sector is to become a clearly defined topic for future research.

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Responses, Impacts and Adaptation

The voluntary sector was central to the COVID-19 response: fulfilling basic needs, highlighting new and existing inequalities and coordinating action where the state had been slow to respond.

This book curates rigorous academic, policy and practice-based research into the response and adaptation of the UK voluntary sector during the pandemic. Contributions explore the ways the sector responded to new challenges and the longer-term consequences for the sector’s workforce, volunteers and beneficiaries.

Written for researchers and practitioners, this book considers what the voluntary sector can learn from the pandemic to maximise its contribution in the event of future crises.

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Previous articles in Voluntary Sector Review have documented the evolution of third sector capacity-building policy (Macmillan, 2011) and addressed the focus on ‘market-making’, characterised by a discursive shift since 2010 that favours demand-led over supply-led delivery models (Macmillan, 2013). This article builds on these articles by using data from the National Survey of Charities and Social Enterprises (NSCSE) to investigate the characteristics of third sector organisations on the supply side of the capacity-building ‘market’. We argue that the ambitions of the demand-led model need to be understood in the context of the embeddedness of these organisations. This is based on findings that suggests that, immediately prior to the identified discursive shift, a significant proportion of third sector capacity-building providers were embedded in the supply-led model through relationships with and funding from the public sector locally and nationally. This, we suggest, could thwart the ambitions of the demand-led model.

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This article contributes to debates about the ethicality of foodbanks, a pervasive element of the UK welfare support infrastructure. Drawing on qualitative interview data, we use the concepts of ‘food poverty knowledge’ and ‘lay morality’ to analyse the narratives of those running a major Trussell Trust ‘foodbank-plus’ programme and explore inherent moral sentiments therein about how those who are in food poverty are understood. We identify a contradiction between foodbankers’ ‘structural’ understanding of poverty and the implicitly agential assumptions that underpin the programme. We suggest that this represents a precarious ethical position on which to base practice.

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The voluntary sector, often working closely with public agencies, individuals or informal groups of citizens, has been central to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including by meeting basic needs, highlighting new needs and existing inequalities, and coordinating responses. This edited collection brings together many of the key academics, and voices from practice, carrying out new, vital and vibrant research into the impact of the pandemic on the voluntary sector in the UK, the manifold ways it has responded to new challenges and the longer-term consequences for the sector and its workforce, volunteers and beneficiaries. Collectively, we seek to document and highlight the ways the sector has responded and adapted, and what can be learnt to maximise its contribution in future crises. The book consists of 18 short and accessible chapters which together will be of wide interest to researchers, practitioners and policy makers concerned with civil society and public policy. The book offers a comprehensive account of UK-based research on the impacts on and response of the voluntary sector to the COVID-19 pandemic, by leading academics, policy makers and practitioners.

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The voluntary sector, often working closely with public agencies, individuals or informal groups of citizens, has been central to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including by meeting basic needs, highlighting new needs and existing inequalities, and coordinating responses. This edited collection brings together many of the key academics, and voices from practice, carrying out new, vital and vibrant research into the impact of the pandemic on the voluntary sector in the UK, the manifold ways it has responded to new challenges and the longer-term consequences for the sector and its workforce, volunteers and beneficiaries. Collectively, we seek to document and highlight the ways the sector has responded and adapted, and what can be learnt to maximise its contribution in future crises. The book consists of 18 short and accessible chapters which together will be of wide interest to researchers, practitioners and policy makers concerned with civil society and public policy. The book offers a comprehensive account of UK-based research on the impacts on and response of the voluntary sector to the COVID-19 pandemic, by leading academics, policy makers and practitioners.

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The voluntary sector, often working closely with public agencies, individuals or informal groups of citizens, has been central to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including by meeting basic needs, highlighting new needs and existing inequalities, and coordinating responses. This edited collection brings together many of the key academics, and voices from practice, carrying out new, vital and vibrant research into the impact of the pandemic on the voluntary sector in the UK, the manifold ways it has responded to new challenges and the longer-term consequences for the sector and its workforce, volunteers and beneficiaries. Collectively, we seek to document and highlight the ways the sector has responded and adapted, and what can be learnt to maximise its contribution in future crises. The book consists of 18 short and accessible chapters which together will be of wide interest to researchers, practitioners and policy makers concerned with civil society and public policy. The book offers a comprehensive account of UK-based research on the impacts on and response of the voluntary sector to the COVID-19 pandemic, by leading academics, policy makers and practitioners.

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The introduction provides an overview of the book’s background, aims and objectives. We particularly draw attention to the diversity of contributions in terms of career stage, viewpoint (both of academics and practitioners) and geographical location within the devolved nations. We also provide a basic grounding in the UK government’s broad response to the challenge of COVID-19, setting the response of the voluntary sector within this context. Next, we focus more narrowly on how the voluntary sector responded and the ways in which it has been impacted. We continue by thinking more expansively about the experiences of this diverse sector and the new thinking that has been generated, as well as setting out the key implications for the sector as we move into a phase of recovery and ‘normality’ as society learns to live with this new disease. Finally, we describe the structure of the book and briefly the contents of each chapter.

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