CVSCE welcomes the recently published State of the Sector report; the culmination of many months of hard work and input from a range of partners and Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) Sector organisations. The report highlights the value of and variance within the VCFSE Sector across Cheshire and Merseyside as a region, but also within Cheshire East specifically. The difference groups and organisations make to communities has never been in any doubt, but it is staggering to put a figure on the economic contribution of our Sector; £174.1 million GVA per year is something to both celebrate and take ownership of. With such a significant addition to the Cheshire East economy, the sector should not only be included in system decision making but recognised as an equal partner in the system itself. 

We recommend a thorough read of the full report, as well as of the Cheshire and Warrington sub-regional summary, and we will be reflecting on Cheshire East specific insights over the coming months. 

With this in mind, we are excited to be commencing our own new approach to the VCFSE organisations which make Cheshire East so amazing; in early 2024, we will be seeking to co-produce a representation, communication and collaboration system with the very people who are at the heart of our communities. We are also re-imagining our membership model to ensure that grass roots groups have access to the information they need in a way that's accessible to them. More information will follow in the New Year, but we want to support the VCFSE Sector to continue to do what it does best, get out of its way when we don't need to be there, and to champion and advocate on its behalf where it is appropriately valued and respected. 

The State of the Sector report highlights extraordinary statistics and insights into the VCFSE sector across Cheshire and Merseyside, alongside the notable impact made possible through the work carried out by the organisations and people in our sector.

Through analysis of findings from our region-wide state of the sector survey and external data, the report evidences the size, scale and scope of the VCFSE sector in Cheshire and Merseyside. Over 19,500 community organisations and businesses are working to support those in need, committed to building thriving neighbourhoods, communities, towns, and cities across C&M - these have been measured to show the immense size and scope of the sector. Alongside a combined workforce of over 36,000 employees and 351,000 volunteers, the VCFSE sector contributes over £896.6 million to the Cheshire and Merseyside economy each year.

The report identifies key opportunities to build upon to further unlock the potential of the VCFSE sector through effective partnership working within health and care systems, enabling the sector to be ambitious in tackling health inequalities and providing social justice across Cheshire and Merseyside. You can explore the key findings for Cheshire East in this report, the findings for Cheshire and Warrington here and the full Cheshire and Merseyside report is available on Voluntary Sector North West’s website


Disclaimer: CVS Cheshire East cannot make any guarantees about news, events and training that have been submitted from external sources