The recently published pre-budget report set out measures to tackle the economic downturn. The third sector has a particularly valuable contribution to make through building stronger and more cohesive communities, delivering public services, empowering people to change their environments and ultimately supporting the most vulnerable individuals in society.
On 24th November Kevin Brennan, the Minister for the Third Sector, chaired a summit with NCVO on the impact of the downturn on the third sector. Sector representatives highlighted a number of challenges they were facing in the current economic climate, and more importantly discussed how Government and the sector could work together.
Building on these discussions, the Minister announced plans to publish an Action Plan in the New Year. This represents a real opportunity for the sector and Government to work in partnership to address current and future challenges. It is crucial to involve the sector from the onset in the development of this action plan.
We are keen for third sector organisations to work with their own stakeholders, partners and users to contribute to this crucial work in making the sector more resilient.
The OTS would welcome suggestions from the sector on innovative ways the government could help support the environment for a thriving third sector in the coming months and years, with a particular focus on the 6 key themes raised at the summit
- Meeting demand for public services particularly in deprived areas
- Good quality contracting and commissioning
- Addressing potential income issues through local and national level funding and maximising charitable giving
- Modernisation of the sector to cope with financial pressures.
- Building social capital (volunteering, for example) and tackling worklessness
- Role of social enterprise
Your comments will play an important part in the development of the action plan and OTS would very much welcome your thoughts and ideas by 31st December 2008. Please send any comments to email@example.com.