Commenting on the Queen’s Speech, Asheem Singh said:
We welcome the Prime Minister’s renewed focus on life chances and a reinvigorated commitment to one nation government. We are with him in this agenda; however we have been here before only to find key services and infrastructure removed from under our feet. If this commitment holds it will yield multiple opportunities for charity leaders and government to work together, across areas from welfare to looked after children to community cohesion. We remain optimistic and stand ready to work together to deliver
On the Expansion of National Citizen Service:
We welcome the expansion of National Citizens’ Service and its support to drive and improve life outcomes for young people. As ACEVO’s research report ‘Coming in From the Cold’ on loneliness among young people demonstrated, young people who get on the scheme like it. It should be bolstered by ever more widespread collaboration with charities best placed to deliver on the ground support.
There are clear questions about long-term impact and the opportunity cost of investing here rather than in existing on the ground initiatives. We look forward to the team behind NCS working with ACEVO members to improve impact and to continue to deliver for young people.
On the Future of the Office for Civil Society and Local Sustainability Funding:
We are concerned that there remains a lack of vision for the future of charity infrastructure, and the Office for Civil Society, which should be so crucial to the delivery of much of the government’s agenda. From invigorating adoption to countering extremism, charities and social enterprises are the organisations that can make the difference.
The Prime Minister’s social justice vision will not be delivered without a commitment to working in partnership with charity leaders and building charity infrastructure in areas of need. In the absence of a developed agenda, small changes to gift aid aside, we urge government to concentrate on fully and properly implementing the projects it already has in place such as the Local Sustainability Fund. We trust that the awards from this reach the intended destinations soon so that they might begin to help crucial organisations requiring those funds after years of local cuts get back on track.