Opinions from the sector: 'Acevo has become a respected voice'

Four influential people, including Nick Hurd MP, who've worked with Acevo down the years give their views about the organisation and its chief executive, Sir Stephen Bubb

Nick Hurd
Nick Hurd

Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society

Acevo is a strong, influential and respected voice for the sector. I know I can depend on it to provide me with insight and challenge on the key issues facing the sector, and to help shape the government's response. In Sir Stephen Bubb, Acevo has a leader whose opinion is sought and valued at the highest levels of government.

Personally speaking, I have a lot of respect for Stephen and the talented team around him. Stephen has been doing this for a long time, but his passion for the sector appears undimmed, and that is really admirable.

Acevo has achieved some great successes during its 25 years, and I congratulate it on reaching this milestone. I would challenge Acevo to challenge itself, as it prepares for its next 25 years, to make sure it reflects the concerns of as wide a cross-section of the sector as possible.

Dame Mary Marsh, Director, Clore Social Leadership Programme

Dame Mary MarshMy arrival in the voluntary sector coincided with that of Stephen Bubb at Acevo nearly 12 years ago. This was around the time when Acenvo became Acevo, open to third sector leaders of all organisations in England, not just of the bigger national ones. I agreed with this change, but at the time not everyone did.

I rapidly understood Stephen's wish to grow the membership of Acevo and get sufficient capacity to deliver much more for its members. In many ways, securing this growth has been a critical achievement for the whole team at Acevo.

Early on I told Stephen that I regarded him as the sector's unguided missile. He would fire off, not always at targets that many members would choose or agree with, but remarkably often he would succeed in hitting the right one very successfully.

As a new chief executive I was pleased to find that Acevo existed to connect and support sector leaders.

Sir Stuart Etherington, Chief executive, National Council for Voluntary Organisations

Sir Stuart EtheringtonIn its 25 years, Acevo has successfully furthered its aims of connecting, developing and representing voluntary sector leaders.

In recent years, the NCVO has collaborated increasingly closely with Acevo across a range of policy and public affairs work, including joint party conference activity and last year's high-profile localism conference. We are also looking forward to Acevo moving into our offices at Regents Wharf later this year; this lends itself to greater knowledge-sharing across the sector and strengthens our commitment to becoming a hub for voluntary organisations.

The NCVO sets great store in working collaboratively, and while it is unlikely that Sir Stephen Bubb and I will share an office (as some mischievous publications have reported), we look forward to welcoming our neighbours and continuing our collaboration under one roof.

Phil Hope, Minister for the Third Sector, 2007-2008

Phil Hope,Acevo was incredibly professional in its approach when I was a minister. It was very clear about the issues that were important to its membership and therefore what it wanted from the government. This was always very helpful, because you often get lobbied by people who aren't clear and who aren't professional.

I worked closely with Acevo on the issues of social enterprise and social finance for third sector organisations. We tried to create a level playing field where voluntary sector organisations could compete with other sectors for government contracts. We also worked closely together on making the Compact more effective.

I used to talk to Stephen Bubb a lot, but I don't recall ever going to one of his legendary lunches - I feel like I missed out. He was affable but forthright. I didn't always agree with him - and he never let me off the hook - but I never left feeling any negativity towards him.

- Read other articles about how Acevo has evolved over the last 25 years, including an interview with Sir Stephen Bubb

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