Useful links

Here you will find links to other groups, campaigns and organisations that we have worked with or who shared aspects of NCIA’s perspectives and views on the issues and circumstances we dealt with.

It is a miscellany of local groups, support organisations, activist groups and national bodies who have shown, in various ways, that they ‘get it’ – understand and object to the damaging changes to the principles and practice of voluntary action that we have been banging on about.

There are, of course, hundreds more. But the list illustrates the vast scope of voluntary action of all kinds that has been affected by cuts, co-options and pressures to conform to state or private sector objectives. And a testimony to the extent to which people involved in voluntary action understand these pressures and are determined to hold fast to the principles of independent citizen action. See this list as a diving board, rather than a final destination, for your own actions.

Inclusion on this list does not imply a recommendation beyond our view that these groups will be of interest to people pursuing the objectives of radical voluntary action as NCIA saw it – viz social justice, equality, liberty, freedom from want, enfranchisement, conviviality and environmental sustainability.

38 Degrees
38 Degrees is an on-line community of people across the UK. 38 Degrees believes that power should rest with the people. Its millions of members work together to: defend fairness, protect rights, promote peace, preserve the planet and deepen democracy 

42nd Street
A voluntary group covering the Greater Manchester area and providing support services to young people under stress, including counselling and therapy, individual support, projects and activities, a creative programme, leadership and volunteering opportunities.

 Adur Voluntary Action (AVA)
AVA is a local Council for Voluntary Action on the South Coast committed to defend its independence in the interests of the community it serves and to campaign for the needs of the community to be met. AVA has been a consistent supporter of NCIA.

Anti-fascist Action
The Anti-Fascist Network supports independent and grassroots groups working against the rise of racism and fascism in our communities. They support local actions and seek to counter regional and national far right events, share resources and provide legal support.

Assemblies for Democracy
Assemblies for Democracy are part of a national movement to achieve real democracy in the UK – building on the Levellers, Suffragettes etc. Inaugural Assemblies in London, Manchester and Glasgow examined cutbacks on social, ecological and human rights and proposed policy solutions.

Black Triangle
Disability campaign group established to galvanise opposition to the current vicious attack on the human rights of disabled people by government use of Work Capability Assessments and the benefits sanction regime that lies behind these assessments.

bOLDr Network
A group of individuals in their 50s, 60s and 70s exploring how to make best use of their combined skills and experience, especially in community and arts development, promoting social change, teaching (in all main phases), public service and communications.

Bolsover Community Voluntary Partnership
The Council for Voluntary Services in the Bolsover district with a mission to challenge and address poverty, deprivation and social exclusion through empowering local people to engage effectively in voluntary and community activity. /

Boycott Workfare
This is a UK campaign to end forced unpaid work for people who receive welfare. It is a campaign formed by people with experience of workfare and those concerned about its impact. It takes action against companies profiting from workfare; encourages boycotting; and informs people of their rights.

Bradford Resource Centre
Bradford-based centre providing resources to people and groups in the area, including training in welfare rights, access to research skills, low cost printing, meeting and event space, a community and campaigns library and mail hosting facilities.

brap is a ‘think fair tank’, striving to make public, private and voluntary sector organisations fit for the needs of a more diverse society. The group offers a range of research, training, and consultancy services “using human rights principles to help understand how decisions about ‘entitlement’ can be just and proportionate”.

Bullion Community Resource Centre
A community and resource centre serving the Chester-le-Street area and offering access to many activities aimed at improving health and well being, access to employment, leisure, exercise and conviviality.

Campaign for a Fair Society
“We believe everyone is equal, no matter their differences or disabilities. A fair society sees each of its members as a full citizen – a unique person with a life of their own. A fair society is organised to support everyone to live a full life, with meaning and respect.”

Centre for Welfare Reform
The Centre, based in Sheffield, works on a variety of projects to develop social innovations, redesign the welfare state and promote social justice.

Children England
A voluntary sector network organisation: Children England provides a wide range of support to voluntary and community sector organisations working with children, young people and families.

A  voluntary organisation working in the most disadvantaged areas of Sheffield and with some of the most excluded groups of children and young people, supporting them to make a positive contribution to their communities and neighbourhoods.

Communities Inc
A consultancy set up to help not for profit organisations challenge inequalities, discrimination and deprivation in an environment of ever decreasing resources. Communities Inc supports community research, capacity-building and projects that encourage sustainable integration and partnership-working.

Community Action Derby
The Council for Voluntary Services for the Derby area providing training services, volunteering opportunities, support to voluntary and community groups and collaborative networks.

Community Action Milton Keynes
The Council for Voluntary Services for the Milton Keynes area providing training services, volunteering opportunities, support to voluntary and community groups and collaborative networks.

Compass, has local groups aiming to build a ‘Good Society’ which is much more equal, sustainable and democratic than the society we are living in now.

Corporate Watch
Corporate Watch is an independent research group, which investigates the social and environmental impacts of corporations and corporate power. Since 1996, its approach, “information for action”, has had a significant influence on grassroots campaigns and social movements in the UK and beyond.

Crossroads Women’s Centre is a local charity run by Women in Dialogue. It works to advance education on race and community relations from women’s point of view. It brings together women from different ages, backgrounds and communities to share experiences, and learn from and support each other.

Defend Council Housing
A national campaign to defend council housing and oppose privatisation in the housing field.

Defend NHS
There are many Defend NHS groups (and other groups) around the UK campaigning to fight privatisation and marketisation (the national network is emergent). A strong example is the Sussex-based Defend the NHS group –

Derman, based in Hackney, East London, provides a range of health-related services to Kurdish, Turkish, Turkish Cypriot and Eastern European Turkish people, mainly refugees and asylum seekers. Services include bi-Lingual health advocacy, counselling, mental health outreach and support, welfare rights advice, and domestic violence outreach work.

Detention Action
Detention Action support people held in Harmondsworth and Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centres and campaigns for an end to detention without limit and to the practice of detaining people because they have claimed asylum.

Detention Forum
Detention Forum is a network of organisations working together to challenge the UK’s use of detention, which is seen as harmful and expensive, robbing people of their dignity, spirit and lives. The Detention Forum is hosted the Refugee Council.

Directory of Social Change
DSC is a second tier agency that provides training courses, publications, online funding databases, research, conferences, a bookshop and free web-based resources and is active on policy issues “…to make the UK a better environment for charities to thrive in..”

Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC)
DPAC is a campaigning group on disability and welfare benefits/rights run by disabled people and their allies. It was formed and led by a group of disabled people after the October 2010 mass protests against cuts in Birmingham, England.

Dudley Council for Voluntary Services
The Council for Voluntary Service for the Dudley area to support, promote and develop local voluntary action and improve collaborative working between voluntary organisations, community groups and statutory bodies.

Edge Fund
Edge Fund is a grant-making body with a specific focus on efforts to achieve social, economic and environmental justice and to end imbalances in wealth and power, especially work that challenges abuses of power and aims to bring an end to the systems that cause injustice.

European Services Strategy Unit
The European Services Strategy Unit is an independent, non-profit organisation committed to social justice through the provision of good quality public services by democratically accountable public bodies implementing best practice management, employment, equal opportunity and sustainable development policies.

A Merseyside-based voluntary group working for sustainable, just and connected communities, providing participatory projects focussed especially on Growing, Cooking or Crafting.

Fuel Poverty Action
Fuel Poverty Action campaigns against the injustice of cold homes by turning up the heat on rip-off energy companies and the politicians in their pockets. They take action for warm, well insulated homes and clean and affordable energy, under the control of people and communities, not private companies.

Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit
Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit exists to ensure access to justice for people living in the local community who are survivors of torture, trafficking, abuse and conflict as well as divided families and others who are in need and affected by immigration controls.

Hackney Unites
Hackney Unites is a local non-party political, broad coalition of organisations and individuals with a commitment to social justice and equality. The coalition supports local communities to organise and address their issues of concern in a way that they think most empowers them.

Health Emergency
Originally London Health Emergency, this is now a national research and campaigning organisation committed to defend the NHS from cuts and privatisation.

Housing Justice
Housing Justice is the national voice of Christian action in housing and homelessness. It supports night shelters, drop-ins and practical projects around the nation by providing advice and training for churches and community groups and facilitates forums.

In Defence of Youth Work
The Campaign seeks to defend and extend youth work as an educational practice founded on a voluntary relationship with young people and shaped by their agendas. The campaign seeks to provide a reference point of support and criticism for those sympathetic to democratic youth work practice.

Institute of Race Relations
IRR is an anti-racist ‘think tank’ committed to research and analysis that informs the struggle for racial justice in Britain, Europe and internationally. It seeks to reflect the experiences of those who suffer racial oppression and draws its perspectives from the most vulnerable in society.

Keep Our NHS Public
A campaign to oppose cuts to health spending and attempts to ‘market’ NHS services; to build a movement that will mean politicians reinstate our comprehensive, fully funded, publicly run and publicly accountable NHS.

Keep Volunteering Voluntary (KVV)
KVV is a campaign launched in 2014 in response to the government’s ‘Help to Work’ programme, which included mandatory placements in voluntary groups linked to benefit sanctions for non-compliance. KVV aims to end workfare in the voluntary sector by encouraging organisations to not participate in it.

Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group
A local campaign group to defend welfare rights, oppose benefits sanctions and offer support and solidarity to those affected.

Lincolnshire Community Foundation
A Community Foundation covering Lincolnshire, including the former South Humberside. The Foundation makes £1M of grants annually to people and projects in addition to consultancy and support: business planning, feasibility studies, advice on co funding, participative design, eco refurbishment, renewable energy and project management.

Lives Through Friends
“There is Much More To Life Than Services”… Lives through Friends helps people who need social care to ‘self direct’, creating alternative and more independent means of support than that traditionally available from social services departments.

Localism Watch
Localism Watch is an online information resource, led by activists, which helps people understand and challenge the government’s localism agenda. Today’s localism concentrates power for corporate backers while local communities lose the right to challenge strategic planning proposals. LW is hosted by Open Demcrary.

London Coalition Against Poverty
London Coalition Against Poverty is a coalition of locally organised groups who provide grassroots solidarity and practical action around housing and benefit issues (homelessness, benefit sanctions, welfare cuts, and dodgy private landlords), taking collective action on these issues. The local groups meet regularly in their home boroughs.

Macc is the voluntary and community sector support organisation for the city of Manchester. Macc exists to encourage, support and develop the influence of voluntary and community groups over the places and communities in which they live. Services include capacity building, volunteer support and policy work.

Mental Health Resistance Network
“Mental Health Survivors resisting Tory persecution of the sick and disabled in the interests of their super rich friends.”

Middlesborough Voluntary Development Agency
MVDA is the primary infrastructure organisation for Middlesbrough’s voluntary and community sector (VCS), promoting and developing local voluntary and community action through development support, volunteering, strategic engagement, advocacy, networking, and research.

Migrants Resource Centre
The Migrants Resource Centre works with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers living in London (especially Westminster and Camden) offering free services to help remove the barriers that prevent migrants, refugees and asylum seekers contributing fully to society and to help them on their journey to integration.

Muslim Community Helpline
The group provides a confidential, non-judgemental listening and emotional support service to all members of the Muslim community in the UK. Members also give talks, participate in consultations, train and contribute expertise and insights gained from their experience.

National Coalition for Independent Action
The legacy site of a network of individuals and groups committed to protect the historic tradition of civil – and uncivil – action. Was composed of people and activists from national and local voluntary groups, front line public services and campaigns, academics, policy thinkers, professionals and trade unionists.

National Community Activists’ Network (NATCAN)
Activists join NATCAN to get advice and support with actions they are undertaking to make the world, or just your part of it, a better place.

National Pensioners Convention
The NPC’s main objective is to promote the welfare and interests of all pensioners, as a way of securing dignity, respect and financial security in retirement. The NPC organises rallies and lobbies of MPs, leads delegations to parliament and makes submissions to government on policies affecting older people. The Convention also stages an annual three-day Pensioners’ Parliament in Blackpool.

Neighbourhood Networks
An organisation in Scotland to promote inclusive local support networks for people who may have a learning or physical disability, a mental health issue or other support need. Networks based on mutual support aim to increase social contact, built skills, reduce isolation and narrow the divide between those who receive services and others in the community.

Occupy London
Occuply London is part of a global movement that has brought together concerned citizens to fight for a new political and economic system that puts people, democracy and the environment before profit.

Open Democracy
OpenDemocracy is an online independent and not-for-profit resource acting as a counter to the corporate media. It champions human rights and seeks out and debates forms of progressive democratic change.,

Our NHS is three-year project, hosted by openDemocracy, dedicated to reinstating a genuine National Health Service in England.

People’s Assembly
The People’s Assembly, in many towns and villages, opposes cuts to public spending; is against austerity and privatisation and is for developing alternatives for a fair, sustainable and secure future. It has written The People’s Manifesto and The People’s Charter with local groups throughout the country.

People’s Republic of Southwark
A local action group working with others through mutual aid and common-ing on many local issues such as planning, rights, homelessness and engages in free-swaps and political education. It has written ‘Resistance’ – An Agreement of the People for 21st century.

Positive Action in Housing
A Scottish based charity working with people, communities and non-profit organisations, offering advice, information and practical support services to refugees and asylum seekers. PAIH routinely highlights individual injustices to increase public awareness and persistently challenges the xenophobic rhetoric directed at refugees by government bodies.

Race on the Agenda
A social policy think tank focused on race equality and issues affecting Britain’s BAME communities. It aims to strengthen the voice of BAME communities through increased civic engagement and participation, representation, awareness raising and training.

Radical Roots
Radical Routes is a network of co-ops and individuals seeking a world based on: equality and co-operation; with people giving according to their ability; with fullfilling work and creativity; with decision-making open to everyone without hierarchies; and with environmental respect.

Red Pepper
A magazine and website of left politics and culture – UK and internationally – drawing on feminist, green and libertarian politics. It creates a space for debate; a resource for social justice movements; a home for open-minded anti-capitalists. It aims to build action against injustice and environmental harm.

Refugee Action
Refugee Action works in six regions across the UK “.. to stand up for people who’ve fled persecution, violence and harassment”.

Refugee Council
The Refugee Council works directly with refugees, supporting them to rebuild their lives. The Council speaks up for refugees using its direct work as an evidence base, and ensure refugees have a stronger and more influential voice in decisions that will affect them.

Renter’s Groups
Renters groups exist in many parts of the country. London Renters is a network of private tenants and renters’ groups from across London. Local groups discuss common issues and encourage and support individuals without active groups to set them up.

Salford Star
A local community newspaper serving the Salford area which  aims to give the community a voice, to make public bodies a bit more accountable and to inform, campaign and entertain.

Saving Our Safety Net
A TUC resource and campaign to defend the safety net of the welfare state.

Scottish Council for Voluntary Services
SCVO is the national membership organisation for Scotland’s charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. It has consistently shown itself more willing to speak out against damaging government policies and to adopt more radical positions than the equivalent bodies in England and Wales.

Social Work Action Network (SWAN)
The Social Work Action Network (SWAN) is a campaign of social work and social care practitioners, students, service users, carers and academics, united by the concern that social work practice is being undermined by managerialism and marketisation, by the stigmatisation of service users and by welfare cuts and restrictions.

Solidarity Federation (SolFed) was formed in March 1994. It is a federation of groups across the UK and Ireland. Everyone involved is helping to build a non-hierarchical, anti-authoritarian solidarity movement. The basic foundation used for doing this is the local group.

South West Foundation
An independent Foundation working across South West England. A main activity is grant giving especially to smaller community organisations; the Foundation is also involved in community-based participatory research and training for community researchers.

Spartacus Network
The Spartacus network is a group of disabled and chronically ill people across the country who come together from time to time to research issues relating to disability and social security.

TNI – Trans National Institute
TNI’s aims to strengthen international social movements with research, information, analysis and constructive proposals that advance progressive, democratic policy change and common solutions to global problems.  It acts as a nexus between social movements, engaged scholars and policy makers.

Trade union – an important part of its work involves voluntary sector workers and campaigning for their conditions. It also publishes reports on the role and importance of the voluntary sector.

Trade union supporting voluntary sector workers – campaigning on rights and an independent voluntary sector.

Vanguard Consulting
A private sector consultancy firm that promotes ‘systems thinking’ as a way of improving the delivery of public services rather than outsourcing and privatisation.

Voluntary Action Camden
The Council for Voluntary Services in Camden, London working with local residents, community groups and organisations, local business and statutory and public partners, to develop and support a vibrant civil society in Camden and surrounding areas.

Voluntary Action Harrow Co-operative
Voluntary Action Harrow Co-operative work with the voluntary and community sector in Harrow, providing information, training and guidance to help them achieve their objectives. The group is not-for-profit co-operative owned by our workers who are all local residents of Harrow.

Voluntary Action Lewisham
The Council for Voluntary Service in Lewisham, London providing leadership and support to voluntary and community organisations working to enhance the lives of Lewisham residents. VAL works to make services better and to strengthen the voice of the sector on the issues that affect the people our members serve.

Volunteer Centre Lewisham
Volunteer Centre Lewisham, London is the first step for volunteering within Lewisham, making it easy for Lewisham’s residents, from all backgrounds and abilities, to get more involved in their communities. Individuals are supported and local groups encouraged to extend their volunteering opportunities, alongside campaigning for the value and recognition of volunteering.

Volunteer Cornwall
Volunteer Cornwall exists to develop active and engaged citizens through volunteering, matching individuals with organisations and running a range of projects and services designed to support and develop volunteers and host organisations.

Water Adventure Centre
The Water Adventure Centre is a Manchester-based youth project using water sports to build confidence and self-esteem, whilst encouraging children and young people to take responsibility for themselves, others and the environment.

We Own It
Campaign group that aims to shift the debate on public ownership and change government policy, to show that public services are better in public hands and that the people who use and pay for public services should come before private profit.

West Northumberland Foodbank
West Northumberland Food Bank provides emergency food supplies to people in crisis and helps people access advice services for additional support.

Women’s Resource Centre
WRC is a national umbrella organisation for the women’s sector, working towards linking all aspects of the women’s movement, supporting  members to be more effective and sustainable through training, and lobbying the government on their behalf on a range of women’s issues.

World to Win
World to Win is an international revolutionary group opposed to the capitalist political and economic system globally and working with others to develop visions and strategies that can take humanity beyond capitalism.