Posts Tagged ‘big society’

Volunteers prevented from volunteering

Charities are becoming increasingly concerned that they are losing volunteer at an alarming rate.

More and more volunteers are been placed onto the Work programme where providers seem to be disregarding the volunteering and valuable work experinece they are alredy getting.

Volunteers are being placed by providers onto work related activities which invariably is not as useful or indeed as relevant as the existing work that they were doing whilst volunteering.

Charites are asking the government and providers to review this and to arrive at a viable and commonse approach which dovetails neatly into the Big Society objective of encouraging volunteering whicls supporting job seeking and building up relevant experience.


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This one-day conference (31st March 2011)  is ‘essential’ for all those organisations looking to be involved in Big Society activities. It builds on the success of our workshops – ‘Introduction to the Big Society’ by introducing plenary speakers who are key players in the practical development of Big Society delivery and sets of practical workshops covering themes, funding, priorities and needs.

The conference will be chaired by Pauline Dye, the Chief Executive of the Princess Royal Trust Coventry Carers Centre

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Big Society Bank could lend support to Work Programme bidders

Social enterprises looking to bid for Work Programme contracts could be financed by the Big Society Bank.

Its a pity we did not know this before 14th Feb

The Government’s Social Investment Strategy notes that “We need a better enabling environment for social investment. The Government’s plans to open up and decentralise public services offer new opportunities for social ventures to deliver public contracts and to help people purchase community assets.” Finance for a Social Impact Bond for the health market and an underwriting facility for community shares could also be provided by the Bank.

Sir Ronald Cohen and JP Morgan global head of research Nick O’Donohoe will act as special advisors to the government during the creation of the Big Society Bank.

Cohen said: “In recent years the social sector has developed greatly, yet it is still desperately short of capital. A financial engine is needed to support social investment and entrepreneurship. We are today on the threshold of using finance effectively in the service of social goals.”


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Outsourcing public services to the third sector is a central tenet of the government’s Big Society initiative. However, the leaders of several charities have questioned the viability of the agenda as an increasing number of organisations needed to make this happen are likely to be hit by large spending cuts.

Stephen Bubb, the Chief Executive of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO) expressed anxiety over what he called the government’s ‘salami-slicing’ approach to public spending cuts that will harm the sector. Mr Bubb went on to say “There are few signs that those involved in making cuts understand the importance of protecting our sector and its vital work in supporting communities”.

Ann Blackmore, the Head of Campaigns and Communications at the National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) added “If you are genuine about wanting to transform public services to achieve this Big Society, you need to make sure you don’t knock out the organisations that will help you deliver that”.

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