Speaking at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) autumn conference this week, chief executive Stuart Etherington urged the voluntary and community sector to take a more radical approach.
Stating that the run up to the next general election should be viewed as a “window of opportunity” for third sector change, Etherington encouraged voluntary and community groups to look at the “bigger picture” by tackling challenging issues such as climate change, globalisation and welfare reform.
According to Etherington, independence is the key to the future of the sector – only by acting independently can third sector organisations truly shake off the tag of “government agencies” and be valued properly for their considerable and diverse contribution to society.
In addition, Etherington also launched a new Independence Checklist, available to download for free, that offers practical guidelines for third sector groups wishing to act more independently.
For further information visit: http://www.ncvo-vol.org.uk/
Black and minority ethnic (BME) representative body Voice4Change has this week spoken out against government plans to pull the plug on funding for regional BME support networks in March 2009.
According to Voice4Change, government plans to withdraw funding worth £540,000 from BME networks in nine English regions could spell disaster for BME voluntary and community groups and the BME third sector as a whole. Without BME regional networks, the government is likely to lose touch with up to 15,000 BME voluntary organisations. Without network support, these already under-resourced organisations are unlikely to be unable to manage themselves at a strategic level or speak on matters such as policy and public opinion. They are also unlikely to be able to access the best and most useful funding streams.
Undoubtedly, this fatal blow to regional BME networks could kick-start a downward spiral: BME voluntary and community organisations will no longer be able to provide services to, or act as the voice of, BME communities throughout England and, if that is the case, the government, out of touch with this portion of the third sector, will be unable to develop coherent inclusion and equality policies.
Source: Third Sector
This week has seen the announcement of nine new innovation projects. Each project is set to receive funding through the Building Democracy Innovation Fund, provided by the Ministry of Justice.
This year’s bidding round, launched at the end of July and fuelled by the Building Democracy blog, received 124 applications from local and regional groups wishing to run projects to encourage more people to get involved in politics, decision-making and the discussion of public issues.
The nine winning projects include:
•Yoosk.com: an online ‘question time’ which will allow the public to communicate directly with local and central government.
•Policy Slam: a series of debate events involving the public and policy makers.
•Tagwagon: a converted campervan stuffed with new technology that roams the country recording and mapping the opinions of local communities.
The winning entries will receive up to £15,000 to run a pilot version of each democratic engagement programme.
For further information, visit:
Source: Ministry of Justice
Still waiting for information on the government’s £130 million Grassroots Grants programme? Well, fear not – here’s the latest!
It has been announced that the Grassroots Grants for the London Borough of Hillingdon will be administered by the North West London Community Foundation.
For further information visit: http://www.nwlcommunityfoundation.org.uk/.
So now there’s only one area left to announce their local funder: London Borough of Haringey. As promised, we’ll keep checking on this and let you know as soon as anything is announced!
For more information on Grassroots Grants visit the Community Development Foundation website:
This week Health Secretary Alan Johnson announced the nine English towns that will each receive a share of £30 million of government funding as part of the Change4Life programme.
The scheme, backed by government and implemented by local community groups, charities and even food retailers, is intended to promote healthier lifestyles amongst residents of Manchester, Dudley, Halifax, Sheffield, Tower Hamlets, Middlesbrough, Tewkesbury, Thetford and Portsmouth. It is hoped the programme will encourage activities such as healthy food promotions in supermarkets, walking campaigns, cycling groups and free swimming classes.
Plans are already being put in place in each of the nine participating towns and include a Points4Life loyalty scheme in Manchester that will offer points that can be converted into healthy food or free sports activities to those taking part in exercise, a Cycle Recycle project in Thetford, junior health trainer programmes in Middlesbrough and a new ‘urban garden’ with new green spaces in Tewkesbury.
For more information on the Change4Life scheme visit:
Source: Department for Health
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Change 4Life, charities, community and voluntary groups, Department of Health, Dudley, food retailers, government funding, Halifax, healthy living, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Portsmouth, Sheffield, Tewkesbury, Thetford, Tower Hamlets
Looking for fresh ideas and new techniques to revitalise your voluntary or community organisation?
Well, why not head to the National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) conference in London on 11 December 2008?
The event will include hands-on workshops and plenary sessions on topics such as how to tackle strategic development in the current turbulent climate. There will also be a range of guest speakers, including Sir Nicholas Young, chief executive of the British Red Cross, and Lenka Setkova, head of the Carnegie UK Trust Civil Society Programme.
If you are an NCVO member and an active third sector or voluntary organisation, tickets will set you back £168.
For further information contact Kathryn Cook on 020 7520 2510 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or visit the NCVO website:
This week has seen non-departmental public body Capacitybuilders award grants totalling £2.5 million to third sector infrastructure organisations.
The grants, part of a three-year, £11.5 million investment programme, are intended to improve and modernise third sector support services in local areas across England.
Examples of projects that have received funding in this current phase are the Rutland Third Sector Infrastructure Consortium, which can now run leadership projects thanks to a handout worth £250,000, and the London Regional Consortium, which is now able to develop a ‘how-to’ guide on securing public premises.
For further information visit:
This week the Community Assets programme announced its first grant – £337,000 for the Pelton Fell Community Resource Centre in Chester-le-Street.
The scheme, funded by the Office of the Third Sector (OTS) and administered by the Big Lottery Fund (BLF), is intended to encourage the transfer of communal assets into the hands of the local communities who use them most.
Currently, 38 community projects have been short-listed to receive grants after submitting detailed plans to the BLF.
The grant to the Pelton Fell Community Resource Centre forms part of a £937,000 partnership between Chester-le-Street District Council and the Pelton Fell Community Resource group and will fund refurbishment and extension work on the resource centre between autumn 2008 and summer 2009. It is estimated that over 3000 people and 30 community groups will benefit from this initiative, which will cultivate community participation and social enterprise through a new café sports bar and games area.
Source: Office of the Third Sector
Yesterday Environment Secretary Hillary Benn announced Defra’s £6 million Greener Living Fund.
The Fund is intended to help voluntary, community and charity organisations promote positive environmental changes in their local area. It is hoped that financial support given to groups will be used to encourage people to live ‘greener’ lifestyles – by taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint and make more environmentally friendly choices.
The Fund has been launched in conjunction with Defra’s new Third Sector Strategy. The new programme will aim to improve third sector involvement in the implementation of policies concerning the environment, food and rural affairs and seeks to recognise the “absolutely vital” role the third sector must play in bringing about a greener Britain.
The Greener Living Fund will offer funding for two years. A bidding phase will take place before the end of 2008 and the programme will open to applications between April 2009 and March 2011.
For further information visit:
Third sector umbrella bodies NCVO, Acevo, the Charities Aid Foundation, the Charity Finance Directors’ Group and the Charity Commission, have this week released figures they gathered in their September survey detailing charity losses in the Icelandic bank collapse.
The survey results, released following a consultation with government ministers, suggest that charities have lost between £86.6 and £200 million in the recent Icelandic banking troubles.
Sector representatives present at the consultation urged the government to act quickly and suggested the implementation of a loan guarantee scheme for charities that have lost money.
Posted in Sector News
Tagged Acevo, charities, Charities Aid Foundation, Charity Commission, Charity Finance Director Group, consultation, government ministers, Icelandic bank collapse, NCVO, survey, third sector