Coronavirus (COVID-19): supporting people at higher risk - survey of third sector organisations

This report examines findings from a survey of 530 third sector organisations in Scotland who supported people through the COVID-19 pandemic over March to August 2020.

2. Third sector context

Scottish voluntary sector statistics published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations estimate that the Scottish voluntary sector encompasses more than 40,000 voluntary organisations of which around 20,000 are registered charities, 20,000 are community groups and 107 are credit unions. The largest classification types are social care (6,673), culture and sport (4,129) and community, economic and social development (2,557). The sector has approximately 108,000 paid staff and 1.4 million volunteers.

A Scottish Third Sector Interface coronavirus survey completed by 1,184 organisations between April and June 2020 highlighted that the sector felt it had risen to the challenge of the crisis collaboratively but identified concerns around organisations’ financial sustainability, job losses and the mental health impacts of social distancing and shielding.

A smaller online survey of 231 Scottish third sector organisations conducted in May 2020 by Glasgow Caledonian University for the Poverty and Inequality Commission explored emergency food provision during the pandemic and found that: ‘On the whole, the provision of emergency food provision is reported to be working well. The vast majority of frontline providers of emergency food are reporting that they are satisfied with the majority of issues related to that provision. However, specific stress points are highlighted and a sense of emerging concern over what lies ahead is also evident.’ Most of the respondents (91%) were in contact with their local authority.



Back to top