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Monthly archives for May, 2011

VOLUNTEERING IN THE EUROPEAN UNION

Posted on 27th May 2011 by

This is a new scoping report for the EU with a number of recommendations. Some of it is comparing the state of volunteering in EU member states. The UK is seen as having a relatively high level of volunteering. It reinforces a number of the points that we made in the B&H Volunteering Strategy. The executive summary is 20 pages long which is about the size of our whole strategy! But if the recommendations are taken seriously we may see an increase in EU funding opportunities for cross boarder learning. That would definitely be an opportunity for Brighton and Hove.

The Study on Volunteering in the European Union

Incentivising Volunteering is a bad idea.

Posted on 23rd May 2011 by

The government is to invest £30m in a new fund that will build the capacity of infrastructure organisations that support front line civil society groups in England, it announced today in the Giving White Paper. Part of the proposals are to set up a Social Action Fund which will be used to incentivise people to give their time.

“New models of reciprocity
Using the Social Action Fund to support new models that incentivise people to give time, such as ‘complementary currencies’ that give people credit for volunteering; £400,000 from government and the National Endowment for
Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) to trial ‘Spice’ time credits in England.”

This is yet another move, like TimeBank and LETS schemes, to turn volunteering into a market commodity (“complementary currency”). People currently want to volunteer because it increases their sense of social purpose, value and wellbeing, not because they will receive some kind of material reward. The reward is intrinsic to the volunteering itself. Volunteering is already literally embedded in our DNA. We are a co-operative species. It is why we have survived.

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Public Spending Cuts Meeting

Posted on 12th May 2011 by

An interesting meeting last night at the BMECP Centre in Fleet Street. We were disconcertingly accompanied by a small prayer group in another room who sang and shouted at the top of their voices for the duration of our meeting. Maybe they think the Lord is hard of hearing these days! Doris was very apologetic. It was good to have a couple of people from the CUPP network there too.

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Latest Update on Government Policies Towards the Sector

Posted on 10th May 2011 by

Third Sector magazine has summed up the governments policies towards the sector so far. Makes for a useful read.

Public Meeting – Public Spending Cuts and the Voluntary Sector

Posted on 4th May 2011 by

Wednesday 11 May 6 pm @ BMECP Centre
10A Fleet Street Brighton BN1 4ZE

We are currently facing the biggest rolling back of the welfare state we have seen in our lifetimes. Public spending cuts and intentions to privatise public services will change the nature of the welfare state as we know it.

The voluntary sector is being cut back by up to 50% in many parts of the country. Locally contracts from statutory bodies have either been cut or pegged at last years prices whilst inflation is running at over 5%. Many local voluntary organisations have had to cut staff recently and others are struggling to survive.

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