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On 16 March 2011 - 9:17am

There are different aspects to Big Society which require different skills and resources to deliver them. Community groups will need to have the capability to take advantage of opportunities to become more involved in public service reform, to increase social action and hold the state to account through open government.


Many of the skills, expertise and resources that VCS groups need are the same as they have always been; setting up and running groups, effective governance, communications, fundraising, strategic planning, using ICT etc. But what’s new? If Big Society offers something new then there are skills and resources that are different which the voluntary and community sector needs?


Here are some thoughts on the sorts of skills and capacity we will need to develop within the not-for-profit sector to grow the Big Society….



Developing ...more

On 16 March 2011 - 8:54am

One of my fond memories of last year was meeting the chair of a shop that I'd been to the launch of. It was a great shop, much needed, and had been opened against all the odds. He spent several minutes pouring out all the had improved in the village thanks to their work. Then, suddenly and in mid-sentence, he stopped himself as he realised that he hadn't mentioned the shop once. He paused and said "It's not about running a shop, is it?" I replied, "It never was, we just didn't tell you at the time"

That magic moment when community organisers go beyond solving the immediate problem to seeing that this the way to see all your community needs and challenges as being in your own hands to solve happens so often. Sometimes it can take years to come. So I was delighted last Saturday when I visited Trefeglyws in Wales for their official opening. I congratulated them on the shop only to be told "this isn't a shop." They were right at two levels, alongside the shop were a petrol ...more

On 15 March 2011 - 10:26pm

Slater Bridge, Little Langdale
It was too, too funny. They said it was ‘basic’ but for that read ‘time warp.’ I speak of our recent week of life in the 19th century.
We rented a remote National Trust cottage in the Lake District, a hilltop eyrie bequeathed to the Trust on the proviso that it wasn’t changed, so as Miss Herriot, its former owner insisted, “people could learn how we used to live.” So there was electricity in part of the dwelling and a single tap fed by a nearby stream. That was it. There was no plumbing, so no bathroom and horror of horrors, no loo. There was no phone, no signal, so our mobiles were useless, we had no TV, no access by car, you had to hike up to the cottage, ...more

On 15 March 2011 - 5:48pm

The Social Enterprise Mark Company is the only authority that certifies genuine social enterprises. We are currently looking for a Finance Director who will play a pivotal role in helping the company achieve its aspirations. The right person will have a strong financial commercial grounding, but with an understanding and ethos for the social enterprise world.

The position will be based in Exeter, Devon and is for 2 days per week, salary c£50,000 pro rata.

Deadline for applications: 30th March. Interviews will be held week commencing 11th April. Please email for an application form (a CV alone is not sufficient). ...more

On 15 March 2011 - 5:05pm

You, me, the night building manager, the cleaners and homeless people all have something in common: We need to be nourished.
The other night, I was helping lead a Full Circle Fund  meeting, which is working to provide economic opportunities for people across our world.  It’s a wonderful group, focused on providing financial support and volunteer time to help serve the community.
That evening, we had leftover sandwiches from dinner.  While I usually take any leftovers from the meetings I attend to homeless people, I thought perhaps I would give myself a rest from it this evening.  It was a huge tray I would have to balance, carrying my many bags as well.  Yet something made me gather up the sandwiches, and hope there would be someone who would appreciate them.
When I approached the night building manager downstairs, he was a bit hesitant at first… but after positive encouragement he took two and with ...more

Posted By Addiction Focus
On 15 March 2011 - 3:36pm

As a recovering alcoholic, married to a recovering alcoholic, also the daughter of alcoholics I don’t believe that alcoholism/addiction can be cured alone. We all need help especially with issues relating to denial. Growing up surrounded by alcoholics and drug addicts meant that my teenage years were plagued with unmanageability and chaos. The abnormal became [...] ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 15 March 2011 - 11:38am

In Melbourne with Gerard Menses the CEO of Vision Australia and David Thompson of Jobs Australia.

Gerard Menses, left and David Thompson, right

Gerard is clearly an Oz version of my very own Chair- he has overseen 8 blind charity mergers! He is seeing my Chair soon, possibly before I do!

He has taken over the chairing of the Victoria peak body for the third sector from David. They have " peak " bodies rather than umbrella bodies here in Oz , (just to confuse my friend Robin Bogg I guess? )

David I have known for many years and I think this is the third lunch we have celebrated over the last 5 years. Why he even follows the Blog and was curious to know who this Robin Bogg fellow is ( aren't we all! ).

He knows my ...more

Posted By The BSSEC blog
On 15 March 2011 - 11:29am

Social enterprise and training provider Enta has teamed up with Marketing Birmingham to arrange work placements for eight teenage catering students from across Birmingham. But these are not just any catering industry placements — the teenagers are working in Brum’s top Michelin-starred restaurants.

Restaurateurs and chefs from across Birmingham have backed the project, which gives each trainee four separate month-long placements at high-class kitchens including Purnell’s, Simpsons, Edmunds, Loves, ...more

Posted By Addictions UK
On 15 March 2011 - 1:00am

The Home Office launch their own blog to receive comments on the Policies. ...more

Posted By Addictions UK
On 15 March 2011 - 1:00am

The Home Office launch their own blog to receive comments on the Policies. ...more