Every couple of years Thurrock CVS report on the “State of the Voluntary Sector” and we request information from the many organisations that provide support, funding, help, companionship and other vital but often seen as soft services around the borough. The output of this information is useful, important and demonstrative of the sector as a whole. From large, noisy and outwardly effective organisations to the small, quiet, location and subject specific groups at the front line we gain a picture of percentages supported by graphs and long narratives.

Whilst all of this essential information is contained in this 2018 report, I wanted this year to really look at the word impact and put a human face to the powerful and often hidden foundations of the Thurrock voluntary community, faith and social enterprise sector. Recognising the increased pressure on voluntary organisations though shrinking contracts, grants and funding it’s important that we look to the future of how vital support and services are maintained for residents.

Stories of creativity, out of the box thinking, new initiatives and recognising the volunteer “Time is Money” concept are the key themes to continued success and self-reliant communities. Place based giving needs to transition from something new to becoming the norm.

The landscape will not change and neither will the support required, but the window we use to look for solutions can and must.

We need to reach further, enable more and change the language so people can become competent in self-supporting, nurturing flourishing communities and building a common life of purpose and kindness.

That said, there is lots to celebrate about Thurrock and this is the purpose of this report – to celebrate and spotlight on some of the fantastic work individuals, groups and organisation do in spite of their own challenges. They are who we all need to learn from and build upon as we look to future proof the voluntary sector in Thurrock.

Foreword from Kristina Jackson, Chief Executive Officer, Thurrock CVS.

To read the Thurrock Voluntary Sector Impact Report please click here