National charity the Plunkett Foundation releases its 2020 Impact Report revealing a huge growth in demand for support to help communities save essential local services.
With thousands of households and communities struggling to come to terms with the impacts of the Covid crisis, community businesses offer a real lifeline for local economic recovery and improved wellbeing. For communities desperate to save a much-loved pub, shop or to safeguard a vital service for the vulnerable, Plunkett’s Impact Report demonstrates how turning to community ownership has enabled people to reclaim their local businesses, their community spirit and use this to benefit all.
Throughout the crisis the Plunkett Foundation supported community businesses through expert advice and emergency funding to adapt to Covid-19 restrictions and offer essential services to their local communities. The charity has seen a 53% increase in enquiries from groups and 104% increase in the aid it has given to community groups across the country.
The Plunkett Foundation 2020 Impact Report highlights:
- An increase of 53% in demand from community groups looking for support, advice and funding
- 308 groups were supported by Plunkett advisers representing a 104% increase on groups in 2019
- An estimated 500,000 people benefitted from the groups supported in 2020 – amongst these were 25,000 vulnerable or isolated people
- £4m was raised in community shares to save local pubs and a further £500,000 to create local shops
- 12 new community shops and 13 community pubs opened in 2020
Plunkett Foundation, the national charity dedicated to supporting community businesses, has a network of 700 community businesses including pubs, shops, bakeries, breweries, woodlands and farms that have been at the forefront of helping their communities survive the worst of the restrictions of lockdown. Local shops provided essential provisions and delivery services; community pubs provided free hot meals and food parcels and volunteers provided support and comfort to people facing the challenges of loneliness and isolation.
James Alcock, Plunkett’s chief executive, said: “Our Impact Report demonstrates how important community businesses are to economic recovery post Covid-19 and to the wider wellbeing and prosperity of communities across the UK. For towns and villages to continue to thrive in the long term we need to ensure that government support reaches those groups that are sustainable and have the greatest impact in supporting all members of their communities.”
Read a full copy of the report here