Hindsight for Foresight in the Third Sector

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“What changes that you had to make during the Covid 19 pandemic will carry forward into your future strategies?” asked IWF member Alex Skailes, Director of the Centre for Charity Effectiveness at Bayes Business School.

Emma Revie, Chief Executive of the Trussell Trust, told us how everything that was high severity on her risk register, happened overnight and all at once – doubling of demand at food banks, no food in supermarkets and volunteers and recipients shielding. The communities and their corporate partners rallied. British Gas offered furloughed workers and their vans to collect and deliver food and new volunteers appeared. Tesco asked what was needed, referrals went digital and new partnerships were formed. All have been maintained.

Diana Jupp, Chief Executive of Pancreatic Cancer UK, told us how the cancer charitable sector came together in one voice. They convened to discuss, “Where’s the good coming out of this” for our future. They found new ways to communicate with their recipients and now operate a hybrid platform. They found new partnerships and collaborations. Diana mentioned the value of reaching out to corporate partners, asking for advice and working with you to solve challenges.

Sam Cohen, Co-chair of Cool Earth, told us that its priority was to ensure indigenous communities were safe financially and in health. Communities and partners collaborating leads to leverage across all sectors and that people are wonderful when they work together it’s like “putting oxygen through the system”.

All our panelists mentioned that support from partners and fund raising had exceeded all their expectations and past results. Common themes from all participants were “be brave”, lift your organisation’s head up and take the challenges forward, value partnerships and network for new ones, community involvement, agility, innovation, and resilience.

Thanks to Alex, Diana, Emma, and Sam for such rich content.

Katie Benson


L to R: Alex Skailes, Sam Cohen, Diana Jupp and Emma Revie
L to R: Alex Skailes, Sam Cohen, Diana Jupp and Emma Revie