As a charity trustee and committed supporter of charities and the voluntary and community sector, I am acutely aware that the sector is facing some of its biggest challenges in our lifetimes. This is ironic at the very time when the development of social capital, and the need for a vibrant civil society and social action have never been greater.
At NPC we do all our techie work because we want to help the voluntary sector use its resources in the very best way it can. Without understanding what you are trying to do you can't really achieve it; without measuring it to some degree, you can't get better; and without shared metrics you can't learn from anyone else.
I believe that the UK has to end its 'urban tribalism' and encourage rich and poorer, communities and business to co-exist more harmoniously and to support and champion one another. We need to embrace conscious capitalism with businesses taking a more active role in communities through smarter giving of time, skills and mentoring.
As a business leader I have been convinced for many years that the most important strategic priority for the nation is the education of its young people. I passionately believe that business has a duty, a responsibility and a great opportunity to support our schools and to help more young people to succeed.
There is still work to do, both to raise awareness of the benefits of strong human rights protections and to make sure they apply effectively, to everyone. The Equally Ours partners are proud to be working together to raise awareness of the everyday benefits of human rights for people from all walks of life, in every part of the country.
Every year in the UK 80,000 young people experience homelessness, a fact known to too few but one that should trouble all of us. Tonight members of the public in eight cities will make their feelings known by giving up their beds and spending a night on the street in the largest national Sleep Out of its kind.
Local authority support and in particular financial support for local Councils of Voluntary Service (CVS) is ebbing away in too many places. This is tragic. They serve the same communities. There should be common cause to promote community well-being and much more. Well-being and outcomes in challenging times require strong public - social/sector partnership.