Sector 'saw v as a threat'

Chair of volunteering charity v says charities tried to undermine the organisation after it was set up in 2006

Charities regarded government-funded volunteering charity v as a threat and tried to undermine it, according to Rod Aldridge, its chair.

In an interview with Third Sector, Aldridge said v, which was established by the Government in 2006 with £117m, had generated £34m from the private sector that otherwise would not have come into the voluntary sector.

"A lot of people wanted to undermine v," he says. "They saw it as a threat. We had to work hard at getting the third sector to accept what we were doing.

"Some were saying ‘if money had come directly to us we would have done it'. But I don't think you would have got government to put the money in that it has without v," said Aldridge, who ran outsourcing company Capita until 2006.

Justin Davis Smith, chief executive of Volunteering England, said tensions were inevitable because of competition for funding.

"We need to realise that there was a background of suspicion about some previous government initiatives and also a history of underfunding for many organisations," he said.

"So when v received more than £100m in funding in a sector whose local infrastructure had been underfunded for many years, it was always likely to raise tensions."

For the full interview, see this week's Third Sector.

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