Liverpool Charities Feel The Strain In 2018

  • Two thirds of Liverpool’s small charities expect to provide services to more locals in need next year.
  • But local charities are forced to do more with less – three in five Liverpool charity leaders surveyed by the Weston Charity Awards say charity income is unlikely to rise in 2018.
  • CEO of Apex Charitable Trust, who won a Weston Charity Award in 2016, calls on supporters and staff of the area’s local charities to take advantage of the year-long package of free strategy coaching delivered by Pilotlight and funding provided by the Garfield Weston Foundation.

New research by the Weston Charity Awards among leaders of small and medium sized charities highlights that Liverpool charities expect to do more with less next year. Around three in five (61%) Liverpool charities surveyed feel their income will stagnate or decline over the next year. Yet it is remarkable that in spite of financial pressures two thirds (67%) of these charities said they expect to help more local people in 2018.

The research¹ is being released in December to mark the start of the application period for the Weston Charity Awards. The Awards offer twenty small to medium sized charities a one year programme of intensive leadership and strategy coaching from a hand-picked team of business leaders along with funding.

When it comes to planning ahead, two thirds (65%) of Liverpool charity leaders admitted they had spent only a few days over the past year on forward planning. The vast majority (83%) say that the pressure of tackling day to day operational matters is preventing them from taking a long-term view and 78% don’t have the budget to bring in specialist expertise in this area.

Philippa Charles, Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation which established the Weston Charity Awards said:

“Small charities are the lifeblood of the Liverpool area, helping people of all ages overcome a range of issues.  Charities tell us they urgently require leadership and strategy support to ensure they are able to keep doing what they do well. That’s why we are asking people in Liverpool to tell charities that mean a lot to them about the Weston Charity Awards. We’re offering charities a helping hand so they can continue to help your community in the years to come.”

Each of the twenty winning charities will benefit from a year of intensive leadership coaching through the Pilotlight Programme along with £6500 in funding.  Charities with income under £5million that provide frontline services in the fields of Community, Welfare and Youth are eligible to apply.

The Awards were first established in the North East of England in 2014 and then extended to the North West the following year. Among the 2016 winners was the Apex Trust which provides opportunities for unemployed people with a criminal record living in Merseyside. Apex Trust’s CEO Kim Hughes said:

“Through the Weston Charity Awards, we have made huge strides in changing our way of thinking. I urge supporters and staff of charities across Liverpool and Merseyside to consider how the Weston Charity Awards could help them face the future with confidence.”

Gillian Murray, Chief Executive of Pilotlight which manages the coaching and mentoring component of the Weston Charity Awards said:

We’ve worked with some fantastic charities in Liverpool and Merseyside - including the Apex Trust - and we expect to identify more ambitious local charities to help next year. The benefits of focussing on leadership development and organisational strategy are overwhelming. Charities report that within two years of completing the Pilotlight Programme they are, on average, reaching 53% more people and achieving 28% income growth.”

Applications for the Weston Charity Awards open on 1st December 2017. Charities can find out more about the Awards on the Weston Charity Awards website.

Charity In The North West – Generous Givers And Government Cuts

  • According to online directory, there are 15,768 charities operating in the North West.
  • Two out of three (64%) of people in the North West donated to charity in the last three months. This is above the national average of 61%. Insights into Charity Fundraising 2017, Institute of Fundraising                                                                     
  • Highlighting the importance of well-run charities in the region, over a third (38%) of North West respondents would be encouraged to give more if they knew more how their money would be spent, and just under a third (30%) if they knew more about the charity’s effectiveness. Insights into Charity Fundraising 2017, Institute of Fundraising                                                    
  • The typical monthly amount donated by people in the North West to charity in 2016, was £18. CAF Charitable Giving Report 2017
  • Third sector organisations based in the North West, alongside those in London and the North East, saw the largest proportional falls in income from government in 2011/12 and 2012/13 – the North West experiencing a 7.2% drop in funding. UK Civil Society Almanac 2015

Get In Touch

Halton & St Helens VCA 

Halton Office: 01928 592 405
St Maries
Lugsdale Road

St Helens Office: 01744 457100 
2nd Floor Beacon Building
College Street
St Helens
WA10 1TF



Halton & St Helens VCA is an infrastructure organisation that provides advice, information and development support services to voluntary, community, not-for-profit and faith organisations and volunteers in the Boroughs of St Helens and Halton.