Third Sector and the NHS – The Trojan Horse?

Trojan_HorseSussex 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

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

Voluntary services – comply or resist?

Mike Cushmanlinda milbourneAnother excellent contribution to our debate about the future of voluntary services comes from Linda Milbourne and Mike Cushman. ‘Complying, transforming or resisting in the new austerity?’ powerfully unpacks “… changes that appear to be modifying and restricting the voluntary sector’s previous role in social welfare, limiting its influence and its ability to act simultaneously … Continue reading

Wales keeps up the pressure to retain grants

graham benfield

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

Has neo-liberal thinking colonised the voluntary sector?

Photo 7In an important new paper, Ursula Murray, from Birkbeck University of London, addresses many of the key issues of our ‘Inquiry into the Future of Voluntary Services’. Entitled ‘To what extent is the voluntary sector colonised by neo-liberal thinking?’, the paper examines the involvement of the voluntary sector in the dismantling of the welfare state, … Continue reading

State of the Voluntary Services Sector – Bob Baker writes

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

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

Driven to market: youth work’s sheepish response?

There’s no sheepishness from In Defense of Youth Work! Join them for free events in London on 26 April and Manchester on 27 April to share experiences of how people are dealing with the marketisation of youth and community work and the wider voluntary sector.

Since the start of its campaign, In Defence of Youth … Continue reading

In Place of Austerity – putting the alternative argument

Here’s a good read that elegantly puts together different pieces of the jigsaw – the state of the economy, private sector influences on it, the undermining of public services and the welfare state, and how we might come together to resist the plans that the neo-liberals have for us.

In Place of Austerity’ is … Continue reading