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
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
Recently the Government announced that it was pulling the plug on the Peterborough Prison Social Impact Bond (SIB) pilot, despite an interim evaluation showing “promising results”. This scheme – due to have run for seven years instead of the three now planned – has been dragged round the conference circuit now for several years by … Continue reading
‘What are charities for?’ was the theme of last Monday’s Radio 4 ‘Analysis’ programme. 25 minutes of powerful evidence, including from interviews with us, set out the stall of how state co-option and contracting has sapped the independence of charities and all but extinguished the fire in their belly to fight for social justice. But … Continue reading
English second tier bodies have largely given up on retaining grant funding for voluntary groups but vigorous support for the virtues of grants over contracts persists in Wales. A recent BBC Wales report quoted Graham Benfield, Chief Executive of Wales Council for Voluntary Action, as saying the procurement process of offering and awarding contracts for … 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
State of the Voluntary Services Sector – here Bob Baker, Director of the Simon Community, writes in a personal capacity…..
“The so called voluntary sector is in a pretty parlous state particularly when it comes to any notion of resistance. I think that changes over the past 30 years have had really corrosive effects. One … Continue reading
In hard hitting evidence to the Baring’s Panel on Independence, commentator Les Huckfield accused lambasted the “London-centric” ‘leaders’ of the voluntary sector. “Rather than protecting voluntary and community organisations from the effects of Government policies and supporting their independence from Government,” he said, “national Third Sector Organisations have assisted and supported Government initiatives to fashion … Continue reading
Bucking the trend towards mergers, acquisitions and single contracts to corporate predators, positive news is coming in from West Sussex, where fresh agreements between the local authorities and the County’s seven CVSs explicitly recognise the importance of locally accountable provision.
Several years ago, the County was a focus of an NCIA study into the effects … Continue reading