Anger grows as ‘sector leaders’ ingratiate themselves with the government – sign the letter ‘not in our name’

Sign the letter below and add your name to the growing discontent.

In a letter to Sajid Javid, economic secretary to the treasury, fourteen “leaders from the voluntary sector” have told the government that the sector “stands ready” to implement government plans to privatise public services, cut benefits and entitlements and encourage volunteering as a … Continue reading

What the Lottery has got in mind for us all

The Big Lottery Fund has been progressively extending its influence over the pattern of local voluntary sector activity, using its funding clout to shift assumptions and reshape the way the sector operates. Here in this new paper, ‘Building Capabilities: BIG’s map of our future’ Adrian Barritt from Adur Voluntary Action casts a critical eye Continue reading

From co-operation to competition and fragmentation

Listen to us cartoonThe experience of neighbourhood youth projects in Newcastle – In our latest story about commissioning, Michael Bell from the Patchwork Project in Newcastle describes the experience of local groups bidding against the big boy Barnardo’s..


Several years ago nine neighbourhood-based projects from acrossNewcastlestarted to meet in order to find ways of working better together, … Continue reading

Fight privatisation and win? – Yes it can be done!!

October 15th marked a decisive moment for anti-privatisation campaigners when the Gloucestershire Primary Care Trust announced that the county’s 8 community hospitals and health services (including 3000 nurses and other health workers would remain in the NHS. This reversed an earlier decision to outsource services by creating a ‘social enterprise’, in what would have … Continue reading

Commissioning has got to stop!

Cartoon of stressed-looking woman at a desk scattered with papersIn late 2011, a major metropolitan borough council advertised two invitations to tender for their adult social care advocacy and carers support services at the same time, consultation was in parallel and the results announced together within one joint budget. Important aspects were not consulted on, for example, that competitive tendering would be the route … Continue reading

Awards are not enough…

NCIAThe Joy of Sound (JOS) is an award-winning arts and music voluntary organisation in southLondon. It is rooted in and committed to grassroots volunteerism. But when it started complaining about local council care provision , awards didn’t get it very far……

William Longden founded The Joy of Sound in 2000 as a result of visiting … Continue reading

Secret note reveals Bubb’s collusion with private healthcare interests

An astonishing expose by Social Investigations has revealed the role played last year by Stephen Bubb, chief executive of ACEVO, in pushing the interests of private healthcare providers. Bubb had chaired the Government’s ‘Choice and Competition’ sub group – as part of the so-called ‘listening exercise, set up after vociferous opposition to the plans for … Continue reading

Value what we do

How a CVS in Newcastle is using research to ‘speak truth to power’

Sally Young is the Chief Executive of Newcastle Council for Voluntary Services (NCVS), a large CVS with 500 members from big charities to small community associations. Newcastle historically is a deprived area with high unemployment. Sally says: “There’s a huge kind … Continue reading

Say what you mean and what you think

A contract with the local council has led a welfare rights service away from assessing and meeting community needs

A consortium of four different organisations – three registered local charities and one national organisation – successfully bid to run a welfare rights and community development service in a large inner city borough. It is a … Continue reading