The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has launched the first Civil Society Strategy in 15 years, which will build stronger communities by bringing businesses, charities and the public sector together, and put communities and charities at the heart of decision-making.
Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, unveiled the new Strategy on the 9th August. The Strategy looks at how people, places and the public, private and social sectors can be supported to contribute even more to the creation of social value – having a positive impact on society. It will help connect and empower people to improve the areas they live, as well as bringing together these different sectors to help enrich lives and build a fairer society for all.
Key aims of the Strategy are to:
- Unlock £20 million from inactive charitable trusts (those which spend less than 30% of their annual income) to support community organisations over the next two years. The work will be carried out alongside the Charity Commission and UK Community Foundations.
- Launch an ‘Innovation in Democracy’ pilot scheme in six regions across the country. This will trial creative ways for people to take a more direct role in decisions that affect their local area. This could include Citizens Juries or mass participation in decision-making on community issues via an online poll or app.
- Fund a new independent organisation that will distribute £90 million from dormant bank accounts to get disadvantaged young people into employment. This new organisation will harness the experience of grassroots youth workers, businesses, and other local services, to help young people achieve their full potential.
- Fund a new independent organisation to use £55 million from dormant accounts to tackle financial exclusion and the problem of access to affordable credit.
- Support charities to make their voices heard on issues that matter to them. We will also ensure that charitable trustees reflect the diversity of the society they serve.
- Strengthen Britain’s values of corporate responsibility, through the launch of a major new Leadership Group. This will be formed of senior figures from the business, investment and social sectors, to put social and environmental responsibility at the heart of company decisions.
“The Civil Society Strategy reflects not only the government’s commitment to improving its use of the Social Value Act 2012, but also the importance of social value through all aspects of our work with civil society” Claire Dove OBE, VCSE Crown Representative.
You can find a copy of the strategy and read more here.