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Introducing the voluntary sector
Introducing the voluntary sector

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6 Funding challenges

Headway poster showing a pair of scissors cutting through the image of three people.
Figure 6 Campaigning against funding cuts

You saw earlier that UK government funding to voluntary organisations decreased in recent years as part of the review of public spending in 2010. The impact of this has been felt particularly in England, although many charities across the UK have had to cut jobs and services. In the next activity you will look at a case study of a voluntary organisation that has had to manage cuts to its funding.

Activity 7 Headway

Timing: Allow approximately 10 minutes

Headway (2015) states that it aims to ‘promote understanding of all aspects of brain injury and provide information, support and services to survivors, their families and carers’. The organisation ran a campaign in 2014 to draw attention to how their service users were being affected by funding cuts.

Watch the following video about Headway in the West Midlands. Make notes on how the organisation is experiencing cuts to its funding and how its service users are affected.

Download this video clip.Video player: volb1_2015j_vid001-640x360.mp4
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The news report initially focuses on an individual’s story, which makes the film hard-hitting but also explains who the organisation is trying to help. One clear theme from the report is that it is not just cuts to Headway’s services that are important but also cuts across public services. So, even if Headway can provide a service, someone whose benefit has been cut leaving them with no money for transport, or whose eligibility criteria for funding has changed, would not be able to access Headway’s service. The spokesperson also highlights how cutting one smaller service might lead to a bigger drain on health and social care services in the long term.

The video illustrates many of the issues highlighted this week around the complexities of different funding sources.

Now all that is left for you to complete this week is the first badge quiz.