We were Absolutely Invisible –Impact on Mental Health of Charity Sector Volunteers during COVID-19 Pandemic, August 2022

The findings of a recent report from a national charity reveal the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the well-being of frontline volunteers and staff and calls for immediate intervention.

The report, published in June 2022 by People’s Health Trust, highlights the risk of a breakdown in the workforce that has been looming since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, when grassroots voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations found themselves on the frontline providing direct support to community.

The report also advises in the aftermath of the pandemic, demand for VCS services continues to rise, shown in the increase for mental health support, help with financial insecurity, and other pandemic-related impacts. This includes extreme social isolation.

Focusing on experiences of trusted VCS groups from April 2020 to February 2022 (as well as data gathered from organisations directly involved with community) The Trust recognised that the responsibility for supporting communities was landing on the shoulders of these groups since the start of the pandemic, finding themselves on the frontline of the crisis and providing help to people in unprecedented times.

Amongst the heightened concern about the level of mental health support which VCS organisations are now having to offer, the report also points out vital work being carried out by these groups has largely gone unnoticed.

This rise in demand, together with pressure on charities and their staff, leaves organisations vulnerable to reductions and closure, and the report from the Trust calls for urgent intervention to prevent the breakdown of frontline community support services.

To view the findings of the report itself, Visit the Trust’s website.

MVA continues its work offering support and guidance to community organisations and charities alike, amid these challenging times for us all. To find out about the services they can provide, visit the MVA website, or call 01634 812 850.