Two reports have been published looking at the value voluntary and community groups bring. If you need to persuade funders of the value of your work, they are worth a look:
The Community Development Foundation has published their report 'Tailor-made', showing that community groups are able to develop effective support for people in their communities, complementing statutory services because they have the flexibility to meet specific needs. See it here
Rotherham Social Prescribing Service, hosted by Voluntary Action Rotherham, helps people with long term conditions access support from community activities. Independent research suggests it has reduced hospital admissions by around 20%. This means that it could pay for itself within two years. Who says we can't afford to fund the sector? The report is here.