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What’s Gloria Gaynor Got to do with Voluntary Sector Resilience?

by | Jul 2, 2021 | Skills and Capacity

Resilience is a term that has proliferated in policy and literature related to civil society in the last few years. There was a lack of consensus around the definition of resilience and the factors that promote it pre covid-19. The impact of the pandemic has arguably shaken the conceptual foundations of the term even more.

WCVA has collaboratively devised this working definition and has asked us at Grow Social Capital to test it with the wider voluntary sector in Wales:

“the ability of an organisation to prepare for, respond to, and adapt to change and crises, enabling it to survive and thrive in the long term”

In 1978 Gloria Gaynor sang “I Will Survive” (or “Goroesaf i” had she spoke Welsh). In many respects it makes a fitting soundtrack for this enquiry and we are inspired by the science fiction writer William Gibson who said that:

“The future is already here – it’s just not very evenly distributed”

In order to span this ‘distribution of the future’ and reach insights into resilience, we have devised a programme of engagement with the sector drawing on participatory methodologies and we want your input and that of your networks and service users.

An online survey will be launched imminently but to help get ‘behind the data’ you are invited to a take part in a series of focus groups (including Welsh language sessions) in July. To sign up to one of these, including a focus group dedicated to resilience through the lens of disability and another dedicated to an ethnic minority lens, click here.

Please let your networks and service users know that anyone attending in a voluntary capacity will be entitled to claim a £25 payment for their input.

In addition to the survey and focus groups there is the opportunity to be interviewed and to take part in a Randomised Coffee Trial (‘What’s that?’ you ask; click here for an explanation).

If you’d like to run your own internal engagement session on WCVA’s definition we can help you do that so get in touch. Again, there’s a financial, as well as, practical contribution we can make to that

A fuller outline of the work is in this earlier blog. To discuss the work with us further email us at hello@growsocialcapital.org.uk.

Written by Russell Todd

Russell is a Welsh-speaking community development practitioner of 20 years’ experience, researcher, digital inclusion trainer, project manager and co-operator with over 8 years experience of workforce development and support for those employed on the recently-ended Communities First (CF) tackling poverty programme.


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