The Prime Minister has appointed John Glen as the new Minister for Civil Society. This a very important role though it has not always had the recognition nor political clout it should have. One hopes that this will change under Mr. Glen's tenure.
The House of Lords Select report entitled "Stronger Charities for a Stronger Society", which was published earlier this week, provides a huge opportunity for the charity and voluntary and community sector (VCS).
Charities Matter And Their Chairs Are Important - Never Make The Wrong Appointment Or Hold On To The Wrong Person
Charities play a vital role across society and the economy. They must be well led by their chairs as well as their chief
Last week, I completed six years as a trustee and board member of navca - the National Association for Voluntary Community
If ever there was a time for bold, brave focussed leadership in the voluntary and community sector, at both national and local level, surely it is now? And this must particularly be case in respect of the local community and small charity sector, which are the backbone of strong communities and the catalyst for local social action.
Government Should Encourage Charities to Challenge and Campaign for and Against Policy - Not Seek to Stifle Them
Last year, charities were threatened with the Lobbying Act's "gagging clauses", and now we learn that the Government wants to prevent charities using public money to participate in contemporary debates on public policy.
"We must campaign for social justice, equality and a fairer society. We should not be intimidated by Government, our regulator
These are going to be critical months for the voluntary and community sector (VCS) and charities more generally - and this is especially the case for the national sector bodies. It will also be a critical period for all of us and there needs to be an open debate about the future of society which these bodies can lead.
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.
At a recent conference for chief officers from community and voluntary sector - the NAVCA Chief Officers' Residential Event (CORE), I posed a challenge to the sector and in particular with regard to the future role of support and development organisations at a local and national level. I raised this because of my commitment to the local voluntary and community sector and my passionate belief in the vital contribution that voluntary and community action makes to society.