Government to produce new voluntary sector strategy, says charities minister

In a written statement, Tracey Crouch says the plans would 'reaffirm the value that government places on civil society'

Tracey Crouch
Tracey Crouch

The government will produce a new voluntary sector strategy that will "reaffirm the value that government places on civil society", the charities minister has said.

In a written ministerial statement released this morning, Tracey Crouch said the strategy would "provide an opportunity to explore ways to build new partnerships within and between sectors and communities, so that we can better mobilise resources and expertise and find practical new solutions to the problems we face".

It is expected that a consultation on the strategy will be launched in January.

Crouch said she would like the strategy, which is not expected to contain any new funding for the sector, to "help shape the future direction for our work with and for civil society, and encompass all who have a role to play in building a stronger and fairer society".

The strategy will explore what more government can do to support the sector’s work, according to Crouch, and will be drawn up by the Office for Civil Society with input from the Department for Communities and Local Government and other departments. 

The minister said the strategy, which will cover England only, would be developed through dialogue with "people, groups, and organisations across government, businesses and wider civil society".

The strategy, she said, would "build on engagements to date, including work with young people and youth organisations, as well as work to grow social impact investing, among others".

The statement in full

"I wish to inform the house today of the government’s intention to develop a civil society strategy.

"Civil society plays a vital role in the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities across our country, and in helping to address some burning injustices.

"This strategy will provide an opportunity to explore ways to build new partnerships within and between sectors and communities, so that we can better mobilise resources and expertise and find practical new solutions to the problems we face. It will reaffirm the value that government places on civil society. It will explore what more government can do to support its work.

"Civil society in England is broad. It encompasses the work of individuals, charities, youth organisations and communities. Civil society is increasingly diverse, with growing numbers of social enterprises, mission-led businesses and public service mutuals, as well as many more private businesses and investors that want to make a meaningful contribution.

"I would like the strategy to help shape the future direction for our work with and for civil society, and encompass all who have a role to play in building a stronger and fairer society.

"It will be developed through dialogue and debate with people, groups and organisations across government, businesses and wider civil society. It will build on engagements to date, including work with young people and youth organisations, as well as work to grow social impact investing, among others.

"The Office for Civil Society, in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, will lead this work, with input from the Department for Communities and Local Government and other departments. A listening exercise will be launched in the new year and findings reported later in the year."

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