Our 18-month-long ‘All About Us’ campaign, in partnership with Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation and North Herts Council, is reaching another breakthrough this month, with a lunch to develop a practical toolkit addressing the issues identified so far and to thank those taking part.

Launched with a survey conducted at the end of 2022, the aim of ‘All About Us’ was to identify areas of difficulty, experienced by charitable organisations and community groups, who work to positively impact the lives of those living in North Hertfordshire and Stevenage.

A long-term project, our hope is to recognise the specific challenges, pitfalls and barriers to success and to tailor our support.

The findings of the survey were shared last March, at our annual community conference.

We used our time with the community to dig deeper and develop a qualitative understanding of the issues; holding workshops and focus groups, exploring the types of solutions that could be of benefit.

The survey revealed the cost-of-living crisis to be the most significant factor negatively impacting the ability of individuals and organisations to do charitable work locally.

Tighter budgets have meant reduced access to public funding and grants, and lower disposable income has lessened donations received through fundraising efforts.

As a result, organisations are finding it more of a challenge to cover rising operating costs.

Furthermore, our findings show that the charity sector is facing a volunteering recruitment crisis; people are prioritising their time, earning potential and expenses.

For charities relying on the kindness and generosity of volunteers to deliver their mission, a lack of volunteers is a significant barrier to success.

Almost a year on from our last get-together, we’re gathering everyone once again at Letchworth’s iconic Broadway Hotel.

Thanking those taking part with lunch, we’ll also explore the impact from the additional support provided by North Herts and Stevenage CVS, Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation and North Herts.

Directly addressing the issues identified in the survey and recognising the changes that have taken place over the 18-month long campaign.

We’ll also be using the time to develop practical toolkits to equip organisations with the knowledge and support to thrive.

Whilst the cost-of-living crisis continues to affect most of us, uniting in the face of challenge provides a great opportunity to strengthen community bonds and build resilience.

The resourcefulness and innovation shown by the charity sector across North Herts and Stevenage is as ever uplifting and awe-inspiring.

As the North Herts and Stevenage Centre for Volunteering Services, we equip community groups, charities and volunteers with the knowledge to thrive.

Learn more at www.nhcvs.org.uk or call 01462 689400.