New £36m fund to support Social Action volunteering
|March 1, 2013||Filled under Community, Funding|
THE GOVERNMENT has announced plans to launch a new Centre for Social Action in April 2013. Over two years the Cabinet Office will invest around £36m to support charities, public services and civil society organisations who want to mobilise people to take part in social action.
Recent investments include Join In, capitalising on the Olympic Legacy for volunteering in sports, and the Dementia Friends campaign launched by the Prime Minister which seeks to train one million volunteers to support people with dementia.
Within the Centre for Social Action, Nesta will run a new Innovation Fund, extending its existing work and support of innovative social action initiatives. The Centre for Social Action’s Innovation Fund will be backed by £10m from the Cabinet Office and £4m from Nesta. It will provide financial and non-financial support to help grow the impact of innovations that harness the capabilities, expertise and resourcefulness of citizens and civil society.
Philip Colligan, Executive Director of Nesta’s Public Services Lab, has been appointed to the Cabinet Office as Government Adviser on Social Innovation and will advise on the wider strategy of the centre.
Introducing the Innovation Fund, Philip Colligan said on his Blog recently: “Three quarters of the population described themselves as having volunteered in the past year.
Whether we call it formal or informal volunteering, giving, social action or simply ‘people helping people’ – spending some of your time in the service of others is a deeply ingrained part of our culture. Tapping into that cultural norm is central to the next phase of public services reform. We need more innovations that combine the resources of the state with the resources in communities.”
So many public service reforms come and go, but just a few manage to create a new normal. What we need now is a more concerted effort to find the most promising ideas in social action and to support them to become as much a part of life as school governors, the Territorial Army or Special Constables.”
Further details of the wider programme of the Centre for Social Action, which will be available from April 2013.