New VODG report highlights significant social and community impact of voluntary sector disability organisations

Community connections and collaboration with local partners are among the unique benefits of voluntary sector social care providers, according to a new report published today.

Above and Beyond: How voluntary sector providers of disability support add value to communities, produced by VODG (Voluntary Organisations Disability Group) explores how innovative not-for-profit organisations consistently and proactively meet gaps in support, particularly as austerity undermines existing provision.

Through real life stories from four disability support providers from across England, Above and Beyond describes the influence and potential of voluntary sector providers of social care.

Organisations tackle isolation, help people achieve their aspirations and harness the skills and talents of people supported in an asset-based approach. The work described in the new report challenges perceptions of people who need support, encourages inclusion and benefits the wider community.

Above and Beyond outlines the voluntary care sector’s key impacts, including:

  • engaging local partners and harnessing the potential of community resources
  • helping people meet their aspirations and live the lives they want
  • reducing social isolation and promoting inclusion
  • creating wider social and community benefits by supporting the needs of individuals
  • changing perceptions of disability

VODG chief executive Dr Rhidian Hughes said:

“Above and Beyond makes a compelling case for greater recognition of the transformative role that voluntary sector organisations play in the lives of disabled people. Our report outlines proactive and ambitious approaches to care that should be replicated if we are to encourage people’s potential, choice and control and if we want to engender a sense of community in local areas. VODG believes that sharing stories of social impact and partnership working will inspire others to do more and encourage local authority commissioners to support the kind of community development projects described in Above and Beyond.”

The full report can be accessed here.