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Thursday, August 9th, 2018

A New National Strategy

A ‘must read’ document has been published by HM Government, a new Civil Society Strategy

In launching it, Tracey Crouch, minister for sport and civil society, said:

“Civil society is the bedrock of our communities. [ ]  Our strategy builds on this spirit of common good to help create a country that works for everyone. [ ]Through collaboration, we will

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Thursday, July 26th, 2018

Developing the Right Skills (and Attitude)

Some very good news for West Midlands was announced a week ago when Education Secretary Damian Hinds visited the Black Country, a significant boost of up to £69 million for skills development in the region. If you missed it you read all on the Government web site  and/or the Combined Authority site.

It is a long

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Thursday, July 12th, 2018

Introducing the SolVE Network

With increasing financial pressure on third sector organisations as well as public services, the stretching of resources makes it more important than ever for voluntary organisations operating at the coal face of neighborhood need to work together.

The needs of our beneficiaries come first and foremost and by establishing the closest possible working arrangements we can

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Thursday, June 28th, 2018

Who do MPs Represent?

Who do MPs represent? Who should they represent? These appear relevant questions in the light of current events.

I was always led to believe that their role was to represent their constituents. Over the years it has become clear to me that they also have a responsibility to their party and those who voted for that

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Thursday, June 14th, 2018

A Deficient and Defective Discourse

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) recently established an independent Charity Tax Commission to undertake a full review of the impact of the tax system on charities.

The commission is being chaired by Sir Nicholas Montagu former chair of the Inland Revenue, who has published his thoughts in a ‘guest blog’ for BVSC. It makes

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Thursday, May 31st, 2018

It’s Volunteers’ Week

It is Volunteers’ Week – “a chance to say thank you for the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK”.

It gives us all an opportunity to reflect. If we manage volunteers, do we appreciate them enough? If we volunteer, do we do enough? If we don’t volunteer, could we consider it?

My own reflections tell

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Friday, May 18th, 2018

Taking the Lid Off Mental Health

This is Mental Health Awareness Week.

It is also the week in which I was made aware of an acquaintance who was waiting for a mental health bed and has now been allocated one. It is about a hundred miles away from home and family.

I recall being involved in the preparation of the Healthwatch Solihull report ‘The Future

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Friday, May 4th, 2018

Do we need a Digital Code?

I am nonplussed by the news that ‘a steering group has been formed’ to create a digital code of practice for charities in an attempt ‘to close the digital skills gap in the sector’.

There is an incongruity here. According to the Collins Dictionary, a ‘Code of Practice’ is:

A set of written rules which explains how

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Thursday, April 19th, 2018

Celebrating Transformation and Success

I was privileged this week to attend the AGM of the Balsall and Berkswell Jubilee Project. For those unfamiliar, this is a charity that runs a community centre in the heart of Balsall Common to ‘provide facilities for recreation and leisure, in the interests of social welfare’ for the benefit of local residents.

I was invited

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Thursday, April 5th, 2018

A Dream Come True?

This week has seen the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King. As such it provides a timely opportunity to reflect on the ‘Brotherhood of Man’ (where that term is gender indifferent, referring to humanity in general, of course).

It is generally accepted that his powerfully orated ‘dream’ has long come true. People of

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