Volunteers – cheap labour or free spirits?


Mark Restall, from the world of volunteering, tell us how volunteering has never been higher on the political agenda. Government ministers and voluntary sector Chief Executives love to tell us how important it is. He says, “I know it’s hard to believe, but I get the impression that they don’t actually understand voluntary work at … Continue reading

Backdoor privatisation – stop it NOW!

Message from 38 Degrees… please act now! It’s being called backdoor NHS privatisation. And if we want to stop it, what happens in Parliament this week is crucial. Some Labour, Lib Dem and Green MPs have tabled a motion demanding the NHS privatisation plan be immediately withdrawn. [1] As of last Monday, only 72 MPs … Continue reading

What’s Burma got to do with us?

Aung San Suu KyiPenny Waterhouse finds a connection with the struggle for democracy in Burma.
I was listening to Aung San Suu Kyi, the democratically elected leader of Burma, about the struggles in her country to be self-determining. And although Burma’s situation is very different to mine, here’s what she said which rang bells with me:
– being … Continue reading

Tick outside the box – arms dealers and the 2011 Census

Cardboard box by Hay KranenPeople are being urged to boycott the 2011 Census, being run by arms dealers and defence contractors CACI and Lockheed Martin. CACI, the Scottish agents, are said to have interrogated prisoners at Abu Graibh – and now they want to ask us a few questions. Check out Ethical Census for the Scottish campaign. On a … Continue reading

Government has no business running civil society

Government has no business running civil society. And voluntary agencies have no business running public services. NCIA’s Peter Bird talks with trade unionists

Cameron’s ‘big society’ is a front for cuts, privatisation, the exploitation of labour and good will, and undermining trade unions. Peter explains….. The other morning I heard the Chief Executive of a … Continue reading

Just wages – get your union to practice what they preach

Just Wage campaign calls on Unite members. In 2010, the UK’s biggest trades union UNITE will hold elections for the post of General Secretary – their most senior elected officer. Just Wage is asking the candidates in this election to commit to:
1. a just wage within their organisations and
2. support for a campaign … Continue reading

Challenging Times – lobbying local politicians at a time of cuts

Sean Creighton lists the questions to ask local politicians on their apparent interest in community action, and highlights the gap between rhetoric and practice.

“A key element in the Party political battle leading up to May’s local and national elections was over developing a new role for community and voluntary organisations in running services and … Continue reading

Do or die – how to survive cuts and recession

Ideas from some local voluntary groups to balance certainty with uncertainty so you might survive the impact of external economic and political factors and your ability to respond to community needs.

What’s most important to do?

  • as far as practical, plan for the different possible scenarios and their consequences
  • within a clear view of what
Continue reading

Changing the world – something for everyone

Whatever your place, temperament or interests here’s a fantastic list of all the things we can do, individually or together, which can have an effect on the status quo. From silence to boycotts, stalling to singing, letters and petitions, from prayer to skydiving and rude gestures – there’s something for everyone here. It’s from Gene … Continue reading