Policy, Government and the Voluntary Sector

May Policy Update

Here's what's been going on in the world of policy over the past month.

Welcome to the May Policy Update! It’s been another eventful month in the policy world, with some really important things that you should know about. So here’s a quick round-up of the top news from around the sector:   

Help shape the ACEVO – NCVO joint General Election manifesto

With the next general election predicted to take place anytime between now and autumn 2024, ACEVO and NCVO have come together to develop an inclusive and impactful manifesto for charities and volunteers. This manifesto will be used to engage parties spanning the entire political spectrum.  

The two membership bodies want their manifesto to be as representative of the charity sector as possible, and to constructive feedback that will shape the content of their manifesto, they’ll be running in-person and online events throughout June and July. Your voice matters so don’t hesitate to join the conversation and contribute to shaping the future of the sector. Sign up here to get your voice heard. 

Police use new powers on peaceful protestors

Earlier this month, the Public Order Act 2023 received a royal assent, meaning it has now become law.   This new Act gives the police more power during protests – they can now intervene and arrest individuals who are participating in “highly disruptive slow marching”.  Their new powers were swiftly used during the King’s Coronation where six people were arrested for holding up signs saying #NotMyKing.

Charity leaders across the sector are deeply concerned by these new laws, with some viewing it as an act of constraint that “verges on authoritarianism”. Although the government is making it more and more difficult to protest, we must remember peaceful protests aren’t illegal, and it’s just crucial that we know our rights. Learn more about your protesting rights and the Public Order Act here. 

What’s next for the Community Wealth Fund?

Back in March, the Government announced that the Dormant Assets Scheme will be expanded to include community wealth funds. This means that the scheme will now distribute pots of money to neighbourhoods in need, allowing local residents to improve their communities. This fantastic news came about after vigorous campaigns from the Community Wealth Fund Alliance, a group of 600 organisations (including DSC), who are calling for the establishment of a Community Wealth Fund. 

So, what’s next? According to the Community Wealth Fund Alliance there will be another government consultation on the design of the community wealth fund potentially next summer. The General Election looming on the horizon may also have a bearing on how this develops, so keep your eyes peeled! Find out more about Dormant Assets and the Community Wealth Fund in our new article by our Director of Policy and Research, Jay Kennedy. Take a look here.

Volunteers’ Week is just around the corner

Taking place from 1-7 June, this year’s Volunteers’ Week comes at a crucial time. Although volunteering rates have dropped over the past few years, there are still millions of people across the country volunteering in their communities and making a huge difference. In fact, the Big Help Out saw a staggering 6.5 million people volunteer just over the Coronation weekend! Volunteers Week is a great opportunity for us all to celebrate the contributions that volunteers make to the sector. Show your volunteers some love and get involved here. 

Small Charity Week

Last but not least, don’t forget that Small Charity Week is just around the corner, taking place from 19-23 June. Following the closure of the Foundation for Social Improvement, NCVO and a collection of supporting organisations have come together to keep it going. There will be a theme for each day: Celebration Day; People Day; Discussion Day; Learning Day; Future Day. Check out #SmallCharityWeek on Twitter for the latest updates.