The Prime Minister has asked the MP and former charity leader Danny Kruger to review how the government can make the most of the voluntary sector in the UK’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter to the Tory MP for Devizes, Boris Johnson said he wanted to enlist Kruger’s help as the UK enters the “recovery phase” of the crisis.
Johnson said in the letter: “The recovery will be long and hard and it is clear our communities will need help that goes beyond both statutory welfare and economic stimulus.”
Kruger, who was first elected to parliament as the Conservative MP for Devizes last year, is a co-founder and former chief executive of the criminal justice charity Only Connect and a former government adviser on civil society,
The letter, which Kruger posted on Twitter, said “government has a role to play in supporting the voluntary effort and social entrepreneurialism that have proved valuable so far, and will be just as vital in the years ahead".
Kruger has been asked to work closely with Baroness Barran, the Minister for Civil Society, “to develop proposals to maximise the role of volunteers, community groups, faith groups, charities and social enterprises, and contribute actively to the governments levelling up agenda” by consulting civil society organisations, local authorities, colleagues in parliament and across government.
Topics that Kruger and Barran have been asked to cover include the role of philanthropy, social investment and business, and how civil society can support the NHS and other public services more effectively.
Elizabeth Chamberlain, head of policy at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, said: “Charities and volunteers have been at the forefront of the response to Covid-19, adapting quickly to meet people’s needs in challenging circumstances.
“But with the right support and collaboration with the government we could do even more, so it is good to see the Prime Minister recognises civil society has to be part of the long-term response, and we look forward to working with Danny Kruger on this.”
Dan Corry, chief executive of the charity think tank NPC, said he was pleased to see Number 10 appeared to be putting charities and civil society at the heart of its agenda.
“We welcome the focus on social infrastructure, data and the role of philanthropy, and we’re keen to work with the government to help shape these proposals,” he said.
“Britain needs an impactful civil society if it is to overcome the herculean challenges ahead.”