We hear a lot from service providers about how they have no alternative but bend to government and state policies or risk going out of business. But another way is possible. Those of us who went to the recent NCIA meeting in Sheffield were lucky enough to hear Gina Clayton talk about the work of … Continue reading
Sussex is one area of the country lucky enough to have a feisty local Defend our NHS campaign. Lately the group has been taking a look at the role of voluntary agencies in the struggle to stop the break-up of the Health Service. The result is an impressive paper. Whilst voluntary groups can both oppose … Continue reading
Latest production from our Inquiry into the Future of Voluntary Services….five stories from locally-based Voluntary Services Groups struggling to survive in the environment of cuts to funding and moves to the use of contracting approaches by public bodies. They illustrate the difficulties and dilemmas experienced, and some of the responses being adopted, by groups operating … Continue reading
Leeds GATE was set up ten years ago to improve the quality of life for Gypsies and Travellers in Leeds, and West Yorkshire. To achieve this it has set objectives focused on homes, health, education, employment, citizenship and social inclusion. The organisation is structured as a charitable company limited by guarantee with the governing documents … Continue reading
Wheels for Wellbeing, established in 2007 is a disabled-led organisation aiming to ensure that disabled people can cycle where they want, when they want. It is based in Southwark, Lewisham and Croydon and mainly serves south London though its provision is open to all in the capital and offers a cross-London network for coordination and … Continue reading
“Children Matter”, set up 14 years ago, aims to support children by increasing community activity, building networks, improving lifestyles and reducing isolation and poverty. Using a model designed for a rural area, it undertakes outreach work with vulnerable families, providing support in their own homes and communities. Since setting up it has also offered a … Continue reading
Water Adventure Centre (WAC) is a vibrant youth project located next to the Ashton Canal in Tameside. It works within the Tameside and Manchester local authorities and organises canoeing groups, festivals and events over the wider Greater Manchester area. Though its sessions are available for booking by groups of all ages, its main focus is … Continue reading
Rivers Edge Community Project (RECP) defines its overall mission as ‘to promote a vibrant, self-sustaining community in the Rivers Edge estate and surrounding area’ and its core values as:
– working ‘with’ members of the community and not ‘for’ them.
– developing activities and resources that are locally owned and run’.
– helping those involved … Continue reading
Conditions for private renters – now a bigger group than those renting ‘socially’ from the council or a housing association – have become so bad that a new wave of housing activist groups has begun to form. Since the deregulation of private renting in 1989, when rent control and long-term tenancies were done away with, … Continue reading
Ian Jones, the Chief Executive of Volunteer Cornwall, has written to the Chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee complaining that local services are being taken over by large corporations focussing on “profit, not people”. The letter advocates that outsourced public services providers should be restricted to small local businesses, charities and social enterprises that … Continue reading