One size does not fit all

imagesP2OJJNRCLeeds 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

Do charities campaign?

kvvlogo_2What happens when charities and voluntary groups are asked by Government to punish unemployed people and take away legal entitlements?  In April 2014, the “Help to Work” programme was launched by Government. It consists of no help and no work. Instead, it continued previous policies that withhold unemployment benefits, unless those entitled to such benefits … Continue reading

Silencing dissent – it’s a global thing

gaggingYou know those gagging laws and clauses we’re faced with in UK? Well, don’t take it personally. It’s a global thing. In Australia, new conditions , which come into force on July 1st 2014, specifically state that organisations cannot use Commonwealth money for any activity directed towards law reform or advocacy. The federal government is … Continue reading

G4S given job of community placements

skull and crossbonesG4S is the biggest winner of “Help to Work” contracts, the latest workfare programme which started yesterday. G4S is currently under investigation for fraud. As part of this contract G4S will seek placements in voluntary groups, which will be responsible for reporting claimants for benefit sanctions if they fail to comply with the placement.

Keep Continue reading

Will morality make capitalism kind?

what next?“We are currently witnessing a ruthless colonisation of the world of voluntary action, led by pure ideology  from neo-liberal economics” says NCIA’s Adrian Barritt in the Observer 29.12.13.

Folk at NCIA are always busy, noticing what is happening in the world. Over the holiday period Adrian Barritt, from Adur Voluntary Action spotted this article … Continue reading

Equal citizenship – why we need our Welfare State

Simon DuffyHere’s the latest in our series of essays as part of our Inquiry into Voluntary Services. This comes from Simon Duffy of the Centre for Welfare Reform, and Campaign for a Fair Society, who argues that our defence of the Welfare State needs to be rooted in the idea of equal citizenship.

“The purpose of Continue reading

Radio 4 puts NCIA line, then reaches some strange conclusions

‘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

You’re a free spirit…

Photo of Sarah FindlayWhy a small charity in Glasgow is refusing to become a social enterprise

Sarah Findlay runs Starter Packs a small charity in Glasgow that collects household items and gives them to people who need to get themselves back on their feet, generally after homelessness. The charity also provides volunteering for socially disenfranchised people who are … Continue reading

How to survive resilience

Read NCIA member Kevin Blowe’s blog on how a policy of community ‘resilience’ will stop people getting independent advice in Newham, east London.

Kevin writes: “Local advice agencies in Newham are launching a campaign, starting with a FaceBook page and online petition, to try and stop the destruction of advice work in the borough … Continue reading

Are you an organisation or a movement?

On 22 November, in his final address to a NAVCA conference, Kevin Curley asserted his belief that the work of infrastructure organisations should not be values neutral. He said: “I was dismayed when Turning Point and Catch 22 – two great national charities – formed a consortium with Serco to build and run two new … Continue reading