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.
How charitable is the charity sector? It depends who you ask. If you are the executive of one of Britain's leading foreign aid charities you are likely to give a positive answer, but then you would be a beneficiary of this generosity of spirit. If, however, you are one of thousands of unpaid interns currently working for free for charities across the UK, you might be inclined to disagree.
Bookmakers across Britain are joining forces to combat the scourge of problem gambling, or so the script goes at least. The formation of the P3 Group is seen by more cynical observers as just the latest, desperate attempt by the bookies to stave off a growing avalanche of pressure to better police the gambling industry.
Handing over the keys to some of our most precious public services isn't something that should be done lightly, particularly when public trust is at stake. As a head of a country wide charity that deals with more than a million people each year, I'm acutely aware of the fragility of trust when delivering public services.
This week has illustrated just how the Government is continuing to heap pressure on the voluntary and community sector. Charities are suffering a triple hit with cuts of over 45 per cent in central government funding, local councils being forced to cut their VCS budgets, and a significant reduction in donations.
Having spent three years working for a small charity, running a support and signposting service for young people, I decided the time was right to move on. During my final week, one of our volunteers approached and asked (very sweetly and with the best of intentions) "So, is it time to get a real job then?".