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PARTNERSHIP TO ACTION - STRENGTHENING COMMUNITIES IN BRITAIN

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Proposals to forge a stronger and more active voluntary and community...
Proposals to forge a stronger and more active voluntary and community

sector, including an innovative pilot scheme to support volunteering

gap years for young people from disadvantaged communities, were

outlined today by chancellor Gordon Brown and home secretary David

Blunkett.

Speaking at a 'Giving Campaign' business breakfast in 11 Downing

Street to champion Payroll Giving, Mr Brown and Mr Blunkett launched

'Next Steps on Volunteering and Giving in the UK', a paper setting

out the government's commitment to promote the culture of

volunteering and giving in the UK, including:

- A commitment to encourage further donations using the range of

financial incentives that promote giving, including Payroll Giving

- supported by a 10 per cent government supplement extended for one

further year, as announced in the Pre Budget Report, to make sure

all charities are claiming what they are eligible for - if, for

example, just 2 per cent more employees were encouraged to give

through payroll schemes, charities could receive up to£100m extra

income.

- A 'Corporate Challenge' with the corporate and voluntary sectors to

look at how to best to promote the current tax incentives and

develop new initiatives on employee volunteering; and

- Widening opportunities for volunteering and working within local

communities through a pilot Gap Year Scheme for young people from

disadvantaged communities.

Mr Brown said:

'The government is committed to ensuring that voluntary and community

groups are able to play their full part in our society of the future,

by helping them grow, become stronger and more confident. Together we

want to build a new, mutually-supportive partnership between

individuals, communities, businesses and government, that continues

to promote a culture of giving and volunteering, widens the

opportunities for all, and strengthens and empowers our communities

to play their part in the forging of a modern Britain.'

Mr Blunkett said:

'Active citizenship, volunteering and community activity are crucial

to the renewal of civic society in this country. We have a rich

tradition of mutuality which we can build upon today as we establish

a new relationship between government, individuals and community.'

'The paper the chancellor and I are launching today sets out how we

will further promote a culture of giving and volunteering. But we all

- government, businesses and the voluntary sector - need to play a

part. We would like companies to work with us, to help build strong

and active communities by encouraging employee volunteering and

corporate and individual giving.'

Speaking to an audience of business leaders and voluntary sector

representatives, Mr Brown and Mr Blunkett urged business leaders to

get behind Payroll Giving and promote it to their employees.

Welcoming the new paper on volunteering and giving, Lord Joffe, chair

of the Giving Campaign said:

'This paper is a timely boost for giving and I'm delighted this event

was chosen to launch it. Business has a big part to play in

supporting philanthropy, particularly through the active promotion of

Payroll Giving. I want to see Britain's biggest companies take

inspiration from the government's commitment and get behind Payroll

Giving.'

NOTES

The Chancellor launched the Giving Campaign in March 2000 to

encourage a stronger culture of giving in the UK. It aims to increase

the amount of money given to charity and the numbers of donors. The

campaign receives funding from the Inland Revenue, as well as

contributions from the majority of top 50 charities. It works on

behalf of all charities and promotes all forms of giving, although

the main focus is individual giving. Its total budget is around£1.3m per year. Contact Lucinda Gould on 020 7930 2629 / 07712 045

308 or lucinda.gould@givingcampaign.org.uk.

'Next Steps on Volunteering and Giving in the UK' can be found on the Treasury's website.

The Corporate Challenge will be developed in close consultation with

business and voluntary sectors over the coming months to develop a

package to encourage business to support their communities.

The Department of Education and Skills will be responsible for

running the pilot Gap Year Scheme for young people from disadvantaged

communities.

The Active Community Unit is the lead unit to take forward the

government's voluntary and community policies. The ACU has£188m

over the next three years for government support to the

community and voluntary sector.

Cross-Cutting Review

The 2002 Spending Review of the Role of the Voluntary Sector in

Service Delivery earmarked #125m for the creation of futurebuilders -

a one-off investment fund to help VCOs in their public service work.

The aims of the fund are to overcome obstacles to effective service

delivery, to modernise the sector for the long term, and to increase

the scope and scale of VCS service delivery. The fund will be

designed and administered in close co-operation with the sector

itself.

Strategy Unit Report

The prime minister announced on 3 July 2001 that he had asked the

then Performance & Innovation Unit to carry out a review of voluntary

sector law and regulation. This work was taken forward by the

Strategy Unit. The report proposes action in four main areas:

modernising charity law, improving the range of legal forms available

for charities and social enterprises, building trust in the sector,

and maintaining that trust by independent, transparent and fair

regulation.

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