Last year, the Government launched its Civil Society Strategy. It was an opportunity for those in power to recognise the social value of small and local charities, as highlighted in Lloyds Bank Foundation’s Value of Small report, and to give them a voice at the policymaking table to help them grow and thrive.
Paul Streets OBE, chief executive of Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, said:
“The Civil Society Strategy unveiled last year was welcome and promising in the specific commitments it set out, particularly to help small and local charities, and in showing that Government saw real value in charities and the social sector. However, its implementation has been disappointingly slow, hampered by changes in Ministers and a lack of drive and focus. Meanwhile the challenges facing charities, from poor commissioning to facing greater demand for their services, yet less resources, have not gone away.
“We want to see clear action from Government to implement the Strategy, such as awarding more grants and less contracts and improving social value. By releasing billions of pounds in dormant assets, they would also be able to help small charities delivering frontline services, often in the most deprived areas. And we need a clear plan for the proposed Shared Prosperity Fund, reform of the Lobbying Act and to ensure charities are involved in policy making across Government and their concerns reflected in spending priorities.
“Of course Brexit is dominating the government’s agenda, but charities have not stopped delivering day in day out and indeed will be at the forefront of helping people and communities deal with any consequences. We hope the new Charities Minister will apply some of Mr Johnson’s “boosterism” to the Civil Society Strategy to deliver the changes and reforms charities need.”
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About Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales
Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales partners with small and local charities who help people overcome complex social issues. During 2018 the Foundation distributed £20 million through new and existing grants, supporting more than 900 charities which helped 142,000 people experiencing disadvantage.
Through long-term funding, developmental support and influencing policy and practice, the Foundation helps those charities make life-changing impact. The Foundation is an independent charitable trust funded by the profits of Lloyds Banking Group as part of their commitment to Helping Britain Prosper.
For more information visit www.lloydsbankfoundation.org.uk