Your Square Mile, which aims to encourage members of the public to take part in community activities, has launched a new mutual organisation that will offer public liability insurance to volunteers.
The mutual, which was launched yesterday, charges members £10 a year, which gives them public liability insurance worth up to £1m for incidents that take place while they are volunteering. It will also offer a legal services helpline for people involved in community work.
It has been set up by Paul Twivy, the former chief executive of the Big Society Network. Twivy has advised the previous government and current governments on community engagement.
Speaking at the launch event, Twivy said the Prime Minister’s commitment to the big society agenda was commendable but had to be translated into meaningful activities at a local level. "No ideology born out of party politics will inspire the majority of people," he said.
Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society, and Tessa Jowell, the shadow Cabinet Office minister, both spoke at the event.
Hurd said: "There is a cross-party consensus about the importance of connecting people with their own power to make a difference." He said the organisation was "totally independent of government" because it "hasn’t received a cent from us".
Jowell warned that spending cuts were damaging community organisations and said there should be a partnership between these groups and the state.