New support group for campaigners

A new national support service for charity communications has been welcomed as a catalyst for bringing together organisations with campaigning expertise for the first time.

The new service is one of four that Capacitybuilders, the organisation established to build sector infrastructure, has proposed to replace the six ChangeUp hubs after responses to its Destination 2014 consultation.

The service has been labelled Voice. It will support campaigning and other aspects of charity communications, including user involvement, advocacy, community action and sector participation in public policy and strategy.

Campaigning is not an area currently covered by the hubs.

Voice will build on the network of regional campaigning forums established by campaigning charity the Sheila McKechnie Foundation and the NCVO's Campaigning Effectiveness Programme, which are funded by Capacitybuilders. Other organisations will also have the chance to bid for strategic lead status or express an interest in heading particular programmes.

Chris Stalker, head of the Campaigning Effectiveness Programme, said: "I've always thought there was a real need for something like this. It will act as a catalyst for bringing together organisations that can offer services in a co-ordinated way."

However, the Directory of Social Change has raised concerns about the draft framework for the new national support services.

The framework, which can be seen at www.capacity builders.org.uk, is open for consultation until 2 July.

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