Government announces £1.2m of safeguarding training for the sector

Charities minister Mims Davies chooses the NCVO to organise a partnership to provide the training

Charities are to receive safeguarding training worth £1.2m, the government has announced today.

The training is part of a triple measure of packages worth about £1.6m relating to last year's Civil Society Strategy.

Mims Davies, the Minister for Civil Society, said it had chosen the National Council for Voluntary Organisations to bring together a partnership of organisations to provide the safeguarding training.

Davies said in a statement that the training would help charity staff, volunteers and the public have confidence in handling and reporting concerns.

"That means charity leaders must take a zero-tolerance approach to misconduct and make sure proper protections are in place," she said.

"Safeguarding is one of my key priorities. This training will make a huge difference, ensuring charities, big or small, know their responsibilities and how to report concerns, and have easily accessible advice to hand."

The cost of the training fund is being split equally between the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and the National Lottery Community Fund.

A spokesman it had received 17 expressions of interest to manage the fund.

She added: "A joint DCMS and NLCF panel, with expert safeguarding support from the Scouts, assessed the applications against agreed criteria.

"The partnership led by the NCVO was chosen because it was deemed to deliver high-quality training in the short timescales required and they are trusted and respected leaders within the sector, with specific expertise in safeguarding and training."

An NCVO spokesman said: "We are looking forward to working with other expert partners and will be announcing more details shortly, hopefully in the next week or so."

Davies also announced today that five voluntary organisations would share £270,000 to run pilot schemes to tackle barriers to volunteering in later life.

Age UK Oxfordshire, Kent Coast Volunteering, Hastings Voluntary Action, Age UK North Craven and Sustain have each been awarded just over £50,000 from the Age-Friendly and Inclusive Volunteering Fund, which the DCMS and the Centre for Ageing Better established last year.

Nearly 200 charities in England bid for the funding. The DCMS contributed £250,000, with additional money from the centre bringing the total to £272,260.

The fund was created after the centre and the Office for Civil Society published the review Age-Friendly and Inclusive Volunteering, which said that many older people faced barriers to taking part or staying involved.

Anna Dixon, chief executive of the Centre for Ageing Better, said in a statement: "Those who would benefit the most from volunteering face the most barriers to getting involved.

"We want to find out how voluntary organisations can break down these barriers."

The third measure announced today is £144,000 of funding to increase the number of places available to young people from disadvantaged areas in uniformed youth groups.

It is the final round of awards from the DCMS's Uniformed Youth Fund.

The main beneficiary is Scouts, which will receive £105,000 to develop programme materials for its volunteers working with six- to eight-year-olds. It will receive a further £25,000 to develop support material for volunteers working with young people who are on the autism spectrum.

The Jewish Lads' and Girls' Brigade has been awarded the other £14,000 to create a new curriculum based around character-building and resilience.

"Six months after the launch of our Civil Society Strategy, we remain absolutely committed to supporting the sector, improving lives and creating a fairer society," said Mims.

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