The impacts of the pandemic on the charity sector was the key discussion point of a roundtable hosted by Preseli MP Stephen Crabb and Paul Davies MS.
Over 25 charities took part in the digital call which included larger national organisations such as the RNLI and Alzheimer’s Society and homegrown Pembrokeshire charities like Paul Sartori, the VC Gallery and the DPJ Foundation.
Brought together by Member of Parliament Stephen Crabb, the charities were able to update the MP, and Paul Davies MS, on their first-hand experiences of the pressures they are under as a result of the pandemic.
With social enterprises and other organisations involved, including PAVS, Pembrokeshire County Council and Planed, the call allowed Pembrokeshire’s vast volunteer network the opportunity to raise their feedback on the previous few months.
While many have accessed support from all levels of Government, the sector feels the pandemic provides an opportunity to reassess how charities work and integrate within the community.
Speaking following the event, Stephen Crabb said:
“The pandemic has thrown up new challenges for all of us, with the charity sector bearing the brunt of a lot of the difficulties. This roundtable provided an important opportunity for charities and social enterprises to talk us through exactly how they have been impacted.
“While these last few months have put increased pressure on services, coupled with a negative impact on fundraising and recruitment, it was pleasing to learn that many charities have adapted to the situation, altering their offerings to meet the needs of local people.
“Next year however provides a further headache for the sector who, like all of us, are keen for a sense of normality and stability to allow them to start their long-term planning.
“These calls are only successful thanks to the contributions of those taking part, so my thanks to each participant and every organisation on the call.”
Local MS Paul Davies said, “The forum was a great opportunity to hear from local organisations about how Covid-19 has impacted the delivery of their services across Pembrokeshire and I’ll certainly feedback the conversation we had to my Senedd colleagues.
“It’s crucial that resources are being made available to local charities, who continue to do such an important job in supporting vulnerable people in our communities and I will continue to do everything that I can to ensure that support is forthcoming.”