Research shows big difference charities, social enterprises and community organisations make across the region

2 September 2021

A consortium including West Yorkshire Combined Authority, West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP), the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership, Yorkshire Sport Foundation, and Community First Yorkshire have launched a joint report today (Thursday 2 September) they commissioned to celebrate the scale and impact of the work of charities, social enterprises, and community organisations ahead of International Day of Charity on Sunday 5 September. 

The commissioned research has been led by Professor Tony Chapman, and published by Durham University, on the structure, dynamics, and impact of the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector across the area, highlights the big contribution made to the economy and the health and well-being of people who live here. 

The VCSE sector in West Yorkshire includes around 14,900 registered and unregistered groups supporting local people in many areas of their lives from youth groups, ageing well support, sports, and wellbeing clubs to name a few. The sector employs around 29,700 full time equivalent posts, which makes up 3.6% of employment across the area, delivering 49 million working hours a year.  

On top of this, there are an estimated 121,000 regular volunteers in the region giving their time and energy to good causes helping young and old people to live their best life possible every day of the year. 

The total direct economic value of the sector is estimated to be almost £1.4bn p.a. and by employment is larger than the finance and insurance industries, and about the same as the information and communications industries. 

The report estimates the total economic and social value created by the sector at £5.4 billion per year in West Yorkshire alone.  

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: ‘The voluntary, community and social enterprise sector does amazing work across the region. I’m extremely thankful for all the support they offer to people living across West Yorkshire, especially those local unsung heroes who often give up their free time to volunteer in their communities whether it’s coaching a community sports team, teaching at a young people’s theatre group or helping at a local foodbank. The sector gives invaluable support to those who wouldn’t otherwise receive it and it is right the report sets out the hard work and commitment of individuals working in the sector who regularly share their life experience to help others – it’s commendable and each organisation and every person has my heartfelt thanks and support’.    

The report recognises the full contribution of the VCSE sector, not just the direct economic impact it has working with the public and private sector, but the benefits it provides to our communities and the scale of difference it makes to our region.

Read the full report

View the VCSE sector report infographic