Two new voluntary sector hubs will be created in Portsmouth thanks to funding from BAE Systems, one of the city’s largest employers. The company’s £250,000 donation comes as newly-published research highlights that more than one in ten voluntary sector organisations offering wellbeing services in Portsmouth have been forced to close during the pandemic.
The research was conducted by HIVE Portsmouth, which coordinates and supports Portsmouth’s voluntary sector, and which heard from dozens of voluntary organisations during the course of the research.
We’re delighted to be able to support HIVE Portsmouth in creating these essential new voluntary sector hubs for our community. BAE Systems employs more than 3,000 people in Portsmouth, many of whom are born and bred in the city. Contributing to our local community is important to us and it’s great to be able to offer some very practical help for a sector which has been significantly affected by the pandemic and which creates huge value for Portsmouth and its residents.
David Mitchard, Managing Director of BAE Systems Maritime Services
Increased demand for services, increased running costs, reduced ability to fundraise, lockdown restrictions and pressure on volunteers and staff were all cited as creating a highly challenging environment for the sector. 29 organisations which offered wellbeing services have ceased to operate in the past two years.
This includes a number of groups which provided support to disabled and elderly clients, as well as others operating in the provision of social welfare.
The hubs that will be created with BAE Systems’ generous funding will allow organisations to share and reduce costs with the added benefits of increased collaboration and even better service provision. We look forward to working with BAE Systems and its employees and creating a lasting partnership for the benefit of our city
Revd Canon Bob White, Chair of HIVE Portsmouth Trustees
The two new hubs will allow voluntary sector organisations to share facilities, reduce costs and to collaborate on projects. The hubs aim to provide greater resilience within the local voluntary sector and will offer valuable support to some of the hundreds of organisations which provide a wide range of essential services to people in Portsmouth.
Both hubs, one in the city centre and one in the north of the city, will be delivered and managed by HIVE Portsmouth.
HIVE Portsmouth's work has supported organisations and individuals across the city and the funding from BAE Systems will allow them to expand their work to offer even more help across the voluntary and community sector.
Stephen Baily, Portsmouth City Council's director responsible for the voluntary sector
BAE Systems’ partnership with HIVE Portsmouth aims to address one of the main challenges faced by voluntary sector organisations: namely, the cost of operating premises. In addition to the financial support, BAE Systems employees will also be able to volunteer for projects run from the hubs as well as offering professional advice and mentoring to voluntary sector organisations in Portsmouth.