Community organisations key to coronavirus response

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Increased trust in our fellow citizens and communities is one of the few good things to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis.

In this report from Locality, Chief Executive Tony Armstrong argues that the role of community organisations in providing crucial care and essential support during this crisis cannot be underestimated. It is our responsibility to ensure that these organisations have what they need in order to continue their work throughout the recovery.


The report, We Were Built For This, found that Community organisations across the country were often the quickest to react and adapt to the challenges of the crisis – both leading and coordinating the response at the local level.

These groups played a key role in mobilising volunteers, connecting the work of grassroots groups with public and private sector responses, and distributing emergency support such as food and medical supplies to isolated and vulnerable people.

The report argues that, having proven their value in times of emergency, the government must now trust community groups by providing them with the powers and resources needed to lead the post-pandemic recovery at the community level.

As Tony Armstrong, Chief Executive of Locality, explains:

“We cannot overstate the role community organisations have played in providing and mobilising support during the coronavirus crisis. They have taken a lead in the distribution of food, medical supplies, and hot meals, provided a friendly voice for isolated people and delivered ongoing support for people in crisis. The challenge we face now is ensuring that these groups are given the voice, power and resources they need to support their communities through the recovery from the pandemic”.

Over 100 organisations contributed to the report, with input from chief executives and council leaders from across England.  This includes 7 in-depth case-studies with groups in Berwick, Bristol, Coventry, Grimsby, Hackney, Manchester and Thetford.

For Locality’s full findings and recommendations please visit:  We were built for this

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