Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The couple who could save the Big Society

As the latest relaunch of the Big Society flops, some people are calling for David Cameron to appoint someone senior who can champion the Big Society within government.

And as it happens, I know just the people, a couple whose track record, passion and commitment makes them uniquely qualified to make Big Society work.

*They volunteered on local community projects during their holidays - unlike the minister in charge of the Big Society or 92% of government MPs.

*They work closely with a wide range of charities, from better educational charities to decreasing maternity mortality to human rights and expanding access to the internet.

*She set up a children's charity which works to give every child the chance of a healthy and happy start in life, is a patron of two other charities, and co-authored a book to raise money for charity.

*He helped tens of thousands of young, unemployed people develop their skills by working for charities and community groups.

*He helped innovative start up charities and social enterprises get new kinds of funding and helped charities win contracts to deliver increasing numbers of public services.

*He helped increase the number of people who work for voluntary groups by more than 200,000, and oversaw huge increases in the number of people who offered to volunteer.

*He received a rapturous reception and standing ovations when he spoke at a conference organised by David Cameron's favourite community organising group, Citizens UK.


If, as David Cameron says, the Big Society really is his passion, then he should take advice from two people who have a successful track record in so many areas of the Big Society - from setting up charities to volunteering, creating opportunities to deliver services differently to community organising.

But instead of seeking their advice, his cuts are destroying the society which Gordon and Sarah Brown helped build.


At 7:36 pm , Anonymous tim f said...

Really hope this one goes up at Liberal Conspiracy.


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