Saturday, 28 February 2009

V And The Office Of The Third Sector

Not science fiction but New Labour in action.

If you're following the debate about fake charities (ie charities funded by the government) then this will help shed more light:
The Office of the Third Sector (OTS) has been set up to drive forward the Government's role in supporting a thriving sector, and brings together sector-related work from across government. The third sector includes voluntary and community organisations, charities, social enterprises, faith groups, cooperatives and mutuals. The sector is diverse in its needs and priorities, and that diversity will be fully reflected in the approach of the Office.
V is the bizarre name of another 'independent charity' supported with our cash by the government. It resulted from the Russell Commission's report, A National Framework for Youth Action and Engagement.

V was set up in 2006. The funding base is as follows:
The Government has allocated £50 million over three years to support the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations. v also has a target of raising £50 million from the private sector. All funding raised from the private sector will be matched on a pound for pound basis by the Exchequer, unlocking potentially an additional £50 million. These figures apply to England only; a further £19.5 million has been made available to the devolved administrations through the Barnett formula.
In other words, this is a charity set up by the government.

However, we live in a country in thrall to the cult of the committee, the think-tank and the report, so there was another consultation: The Morgan Enquiry, which appeared to cover the same ground, ie getting young people involved in volunteer work.

Someone over at the Association of Volunteer Managers couldn't see much difference either. It may have been independent of government funding but it was chaired by a baroness with a New Labour political background and included three MPs. Unlike with the Russell Commission, though, I shouldn't think anything will result from the Enquiry.

It would be interesting to know whether V has managed to achieve its aim of getting a million young people to volunteer within its initial three-year period.

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