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Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 6 May 2011 - 1:27pm

The Future Forum are arranging meetings in every region of the country in conjunction with Regional Voices.

These listening events are for patients, service users and voluntary and community sector leaders to have their say in the listening exercise.

Dates are as follows:

North East 9th May 1-3pm
North West 23rd May 10:30-12:30
Yorkshire & Humber 13th May 10-12:30
East Midlands 18th May 10-12
West Midlands 16th May 10-1
East 13th May 10-12:15
London 13th May 2-4
South East 25th May 1-4
South West 26th May 11-1

To find out more or to book a place click here ...more

Posted By Ben Metz blog
On 6 May 2011 - 11:53am

agriturismo, the italian phenomenon of sublime local produce served in farmhouses and small country establishments, has until now been restricted to farms throughout the italian countryside.  but now agriturismo has found its way to hackney city farm in london!

check out hackney city farm’s frizzante cafe on a thursday night for an almost authentic agriturismo experience.  while the food is mixed (fantastic whitebait but surprisingly mediocre home made pasta!) the atmosphere is glorious and the thought put into their dinner service is really worth a visit.

...more

Posted By Ben Metz blog
On 6 May 2011 - 11:53am

agriturismo, the italian phenomenon of sublime local produce served in farmhouses and small country establishments, has until now been restricted to farms throughout the italian countryside.  but now agriturismo has found its way to hackney city farm in london!

check out hackney city farm’s frizzante cafe on a thursday night for an almost authentic agriturismo experience.  while the food is mixed (fantastic whitebait but surprisingly mediocre home made pasta!) the atmosphere is glorious and the thought put into their dinner service is really worth a visit.

...more

On 6 May 2011 - 10:59am

I go to a lot of sector events these days where nearly everyone, even quite sensible people, are banging away about how the coalition is taking us to hell in a handcart. Amid redundancies, closures, vital projects lost and more redundancies, I can understand this. To a point. But some perspective is needed here. Blaming the coalition is to seriously misread the issue.

Two things need pointing out. First, this was coming. As a sector, we had been pumped up by 15 years of uninterrupted economic growth, which left us deeply vulnerable to changes in the economic weather. And by 2010, any new government knew it would immediately face two flashing red signals as it pulled out of the station - the economy and the runaway costs of the public sector. It is fantasy, in my view, to believe that charities wouldn't be getting an equivalent hammering with a fourth Labour government driving the train.

Second, the world is changing faster than many in the sector understand. Many ...more

Posted By The BSSEC blog
On 6 May 2011 - 10:06am

In February David Cameron pledged that the state monopoly on the delivery of public services would be broken once and for all. The scheduled White Paper, Open Public Services, however, has been delayed amid speculation that ministers are toning down its commitments to private sector outsourcing in favour of the establishment of new mutuals, and that this will be politically more acceptable than privatisation (PublicNet covers that here).

Suffolk County Council, as if in confirmation of the government’s fears regarding public hostility to privatisation, has meanwhile announced that there will be a ‘period of reflection’ (have I heard that somewhere else recently?) and a likely U-turn on its plans to become the first ‘virtual council’, with all services outsourced. Reported ...more

On 6 May 2011 - 9:50am

I wasn't up for election yesterday. If I had been, I may well not be a Councillor today, despite having done OK in the role. Such is the nature of local elections - local issues are not what decides them.

This election has brought into sharp focus the challenge for the Lib Dems. The charge that the party is a 'human-shield' for the Tories has been borne out - they have come out without a scratch, while the Lib Dems face their worst results for 30 years.

When the party went into coalition last year, most party members endorsed it. The party was, in reality, trapped - but armed with a strong agreement, felt able to go into confidently into Government. However, the cuts - and their consequences such as the need to ask students to pay for their own education - have been the ubiquitious theme of the last year and we, not the Tories, have taken all of the political heat for them. The party's opportunism around fees - and its rash promise not to raise them - is now ...more

Posted By Changemakers blogs
On 5 May 2011 - 5:00pm

Youth are the fastest growing segment of the global population. There are 1.2 billion young people aged 10-19 around the world, and 87 percent of them live in developing countries. Adolescent girls make up half of that population, yet those 600,000,000 are too often ignored by public policymakers, private sector leaders, and commodified by impudent community members.

As a result of such political and cultural degeneration, 1 in 7 girls is married before the age of 15. And 1 in 3 is married by the time she is 18. The social cost of this practice is high, with disastrous implications for both personal growth and global development. Over the next decade, more than 25,000 early marriages will take place every single day.

"Child marriage tends to create an environment that makes young wives extremely vulnerable to ...more

On 5 May 2011 - 4:59pm

It is so amazing to me that when we communicate, the words really ‘come in third place.’

What’s first and second? First is the tone. If we are abrasive, affrontive, sarcastic then it doesn’t open up the conversation and action for change. Calm, proactive, inclusive, even — “slow” — conversations help provide dynamic change. It sounds as if it is an oxymoron. But allowing the participants to breathe in the interaction helps bring about the best and most inclusive solutions for all parties.

Second then is body language and what we communicate; third come the words.

...more

Posted By Adrian Ashton
On 5 May 2011 - 3:24pm

so - its that time of the year when things go a little quiet (2 weeks of bank holidays'll do that!), and I try and reflect on what I've managed to achieve over the last year (professionally speaking...).

For those of you who've followed me for a while, you'll know that my principle tool for doing this is a social accounting approach - and having still not found a model or toolkit for sole traders out there, have used my d-i-y version again, and as before, added an extra indicator - this time around how much business I do with co-ops, social enterprises and charities. After all, if I'm serious about supporting such businesses, I should really be putting my money where my mouth is - right?

So - here there are; for those of you who enjoy statistics, enjoy - for those of you who don't, look away now...

...more

Posted By Charity Bank Blog
On 5 May 2011 - 2:37pm

Charity Loans: A guide to loan finance for charities and social enterprises. In the current economic climate, fear of debt can be understood. But with the right kind of loan, charities and social enterprises can thrive – and have greater control over their future. More and more charities are choosing to borrow from social lenders [...] ...more