10GM - A joint venture to support the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector in Greater Manchester

VCSE Response: The Cost of Living Crisis 

This page summarises the VCSE activity to address the cost of living crisis in Greater Manchester's localities. To find support, head to the Cost of Living Support page. 

The VCSE Sector in Greater Manchester


Number of voluntary organisations, community groups and social enterprises in Greater Manchester


71% of VCSE organisations are micro organisations
(under £10,000 turnover)


71% work in specific neighbourhoods or communities

Top 4 areas of work

Wellbeing, health and social care, community development /sport and economic wellbeing

1.4 million

Number of hours people volunteer in Greater Manchester each week

£1.2 billion income 

75% have at least one source of non-public sector funds)
(under £10,000 turnover)


Number of people who volunteer in Greater Manchester


Number of jobs the VCSE sector provides in Greater Manchester

The VCSE sector's role in distributing The Household Support Fund


There are strong partnerships between Local Authorities and the local Centre for Voluntary Services 


30+ grants per Local Authority area have been distributed to groups and organisations to enable cash to be available to people at crisis points  


Particularly effective at ensuring equity of access for people that often face marginalisation


There's been significant success in outcomes and delivery  


Most areas are on their second round of support and have established mechanisms where there is more government support

Resources provided by the VCSE sector 


Food banks and food pantries, increase culturally appropriate food offers. For example, Food Solutions Networks and coordinated activities across food provision.


Winter warmth packs.


Community warehouses, logistical support, bulk purchasing, and home delivery services 


Prepare warm spaces and public living rooms


Increasing access to welfare advice and funds and partnering up to extend our reach. Providing multi-lingual welfare advice. 


Digital tech and data libraries/banks. 


Energy efficiency schemes and support – Groundwork. 


Winter volunteering campaigns are active now recruiting additional support.

VCSE managed hardship funds and items available 

Migrant Destitution Fund GM 
People with no recourse to public funds - Grants are for up to £80 once a month and are typically spent on food, winter clothing, phone credit, travel costs (e.g. to appointments), and dental treatment. 

Real Change 
Real Change pays for practical items - Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Wigan and Leigh.

Information and signposting


Most CVS’ have Cost of Living signposting resources on their website about local help 


Organisations are working with Greater Manchester Poverty Action in many areas to develop, spread and update the signposting referral tool 


There are Poverty Truth Commissions, and Lived experience commissioners' voices in system change in Oldham, Tameside, Manchester, Trafford, Salford


Established and growing social action networks in every area of poverty, which tackle the root causes, and symptoms 

Case studies

Macc's Spirit of Manchester Story week on cost of living a collection of 11 case studies. You can view them here:

Our priorities


A significant amount of VCSE provision is delivered on short-term funding 


The scale of demand is too great for current VCSE provision, workforce capacity is stretched and access to money to meet the demand for food etc. We need both small grants and sustainable funding for critical organisations 


Inflation costs are affecting what groups can buy and provide for the money they have 


Pay reviews for the workforce are squeezing budgets and are not reflected in contract uplifts. NHS pay awards are not passed on to non-NHS providers


Implementing campaigns to increase Real Living Wage across VCFSE 

If you'd like to support the VCSE response to the cost of living crisis, please get in touch. 

Get Involved 

Two people sat talking in an office

Find out more about the work of the Greater Manchester Local Infrastructure Network

This briefing outlines the vital leadership and delivery role played by the VCSE Local Infrastructure Organisations, the shared challenges in delivering this work, and key messages for the wider system.

Page last reviewed: 10 May 2024

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