Half of local community groups 'confident about the future', says report

But a survey of 1,500 groups by the Co-op also finds that a quarter are worried or very worried

Half of local community groups feel confident about the future, but a quarter feel worried about it, new research from the Co-op shows.

A survey of 1,500 groups that had received funding from the Co-op’s Local Community Fund since it was launched in September 2016 found that 50 per cent said they felt confident or very confident about the future, but 25 per cent said they were worried or very worried about it. The remainder were neutral.

The survey, which was carried out in April, found that similar percentages of those surveyed expressed positive or negative feelings about how they were coping.

A total of 50 per cent of respondents said their organisation was "doing well" or "thriving", 14 per cent said they were "struggling" or "having some difficulty". The remainder said they were "getting by".

More than half of those surveyed said they were worried about a growing demand for their services that was not being matched by increased funding.

But the survey also found that more than four out of 10 organisations polled said they had more volunteers than five years ago, and more than a third said they had more employees than they did five years ago.

Writing in the report, Rebecca Birkbeck, director of community engagement at the Co-op, said: "While it is clear that an overwhelming number of causes are seeing a marked increase in the demand for their services, the research findings also show that in general they are coping with this demand, but a significant number are concerned about the future."

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