Big Society: No volunteering without support

It was reassuring to hear the Prime Minister yesterday restating his party’s vision for a Big Society and “encouraging volunteering and social action so people contribute more to their community”.

What concerns us, however, is that the whole project could be seriously undermined by the current policy of cuts.

TimeBank has been helping a ‘big society’ to flourish for the past decade by inspiring and encouraging 300,000 people into volunteering. There is no doubt that the British public has a big appetite to find the time to donate their skills and expertise to worthwhile projects in their community. But as our own research shows, they need the right help, guidance and encouragement. That is what we have been successfully doing for ten years.

Government cuts are hitting everyone and we are by no means alone in bearing some of the brunt in competing for an ever decreasing pot of funding streams – it is a stark reality that faces our sector. But we are in a strong position to underpin and add real value to the Big Society agenda as we have the knowledge and expertise in helping people like you to volunteer. To carry out our work though we need a viable, stable funding base to keep the dreams of potential volunteers alive.