Research, Armed forces charities research

Cobseo Members’ Survey Report: Impact of Covid-19

DSC’s bi-annual reports investigating the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on Cobseo Members.

What is the purpose of the reports? 

The Covid-19 pandemic has had an undeniable impact on the charity sector. Data on the extent of this impact from organisations ‘on the ground’ is crucial to understanding how Covid-19 is affecting Cobseo Members.  

To this end, funded by Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), the Directory of Social Change (DSC) has been undertaking survey-based research with members of Cobseo (The Confederation of Service Charities) to enable members to give voice to the reality of their situation as the Covid-19 crisis unfolds. 

Every six months, Cobseo members are invited to respond to a new wave of the survey. Reports for May 2020, October 2020, May 2021 and November 2021 can be downloaded below. The next wave of data collection is due to commence in May 2022.

What do they cover? 

The survey is continually updated to reflect the changing environment, but respondents typically provide information on the following key areas: 

  • Beneficiary needs and demand for services 
  • Impacts on service delivery
  • Changes in sources of income 
  • Changes in types of expenditure 
  • Overall financial changes 
  • Risks facing members 
  • Government support accessed by members 

The written reports provide a comprehensive overview and analysis of the qualitative and quantitative data, including attention to trends over time. For a quantitative ‘snapshot’ of each wave – and to explore the data yourself – visit our interactive Cobseo Covid-19 Impact Database.

What did we find?

Some of the key findings from most recent survey (November 2021) include:

  • Beneficiary demand for support increased for the majority (54%) of respondents over the past six months.
  • The percentage of respondents coping ‘with difficulty’ or ‘with very significant difficulty’ over the past six months, was 41%.
  • Mental health support was the critical service area experiencing the highest level of ‘significant impact’ over the past six months.
  • Overall, 46% of respondents reported a decrease in income, and 41% reported an increase.
  • Overall, 53% of respondents reported a decrease in expenditure, whilst 33% reported an increase.

Download the November 2021 report here

Download the May 2021 report here

Download the October 2020 report here

Download the May 2020 report here