I attended a 90 minute debate in parliament this morning entitled ‘The effects of cuts on the voluntary sector’.
TimeBank and its current funding crisis were heavily featured in the debate as a perfect example of an organisation delivering the ‘Big Society’ yet having its funding cut.
Barbara Keeley MP argued strongly for organisations such as ours, which provide the infrastructure to make volunteering a reality and encourage social action not to whither on the vine due to funding cuts. Cutting away at our core funding which severely reduces our ability to act as that precious go-between for volunteers and the beneficiary organisations, completely undermines the vision of a Big Society. Read Barbara’s blog here.
There was a great deal of support from other MPs who recognised our role in encouraging volunteering, but at the same time acknowledging that there needs to be a careful and well-timed transition away from government funding. One MP suggested that the government was out of touch with the modern-day voluntary sector organisation. He said that these charities have to rely on government grants for core funding in order for the frontline services to be realised.
This is the harsh reality. We can’t be expected to deliver the level of care and expertise required to enable volunteering without the staff and resources in our back office which make it happen.
If you haven’t already done so, please sign our e-petition to keep these issues in the limelight and in front of government.