Sector 'can help turn people's lives around'

Conservative leader David Cameron has set up a policy group to look at how to support voluntary organisations and create "the nation of the second chance".

Launched last week, the group is one of five divisions making up Cameron's Social Justice Challenge - a policy commission launched last month to examine how to empower the voluntary sector and achieve social justice.

"We will never fulfil our potential as a nation by giving up on our fellow citizens," he told the Centre for Social Justice last week. The sector, he believes, has a crucial role to play in helping people turn their lives around.

However, the second chance group will not be directed by a representative from within the sector. Graham Leach, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, has been appointed to lead the policy enquiry under the overall chairmanship of Iain Duncan Smith MP.

The four other groups will examine policy on the family, educational failure, economic failure and dependency, and addiction and indebtedness.

The Social Justice Challenge is expected to reveal its findings over the next 18 to 24 months. However, the Conservatives have already established that the results "will not set party policy".

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