At a recent forum initated by the community/ voluntary sector to discuss the impact of the recession, some interesting points came up;

“* In addition to funding physical infrastructure there is need to build social infrastructure – people need to have social services, sports clubs, environmental projects and a raft of support networks through community activities
* At forum there were several examples of intervention by social workers and budget advisors to avoid mortgagee sales
* Social services such as Salvation Army, budget advisors, Maori & Pacific social services are all reporting increased demand for services. These services will need additional support. There is a need to work with the sector to come up with innovative ways to develop additional services.
* Voluntary organisations provide value for money and in tough times are talking about how to work together to ensure that money is spread as effectively as possible to ensure that services are delivered at ground level.
* Community organisations are experienced at setting up and managing flexible work practices and have a lot to offer businesses in tough times if given the chance to work with them.
* Volunteering has many useful roles:

  1. Provides valuable work experience and skills for people who are in transition.
  2. Assists with providing many community level services – but needs supporting and managing. Volunteer services do have a cost and this needs funding”.

The community sector challenges the government sector to work together during this economically unstable time, where demand for services is increasing, meanwhile funding available may be in shorter supply.

Source: Volunteering New Zealand website – Feb2009 Newsletter

Submitted by Jennifer

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