Wednesday 22 April 2009

It's okay!

So we got action on various things we wanted in the Budget. In particular the jobs announcements are very good news.

I am also pleased with the announcement on the Social Investment Bank. OTS will consult but it is clear this is going ahead. I followed up my talk to the PM on Monday with a letter and I understand that in fact Government are working on a timetable. We shall see; but three cheers to Government on this. Now give us the £250m from the banks' dormant assets we have asked for from the DWP-ACEVO task force report from February.

I was also really pleased to see that DWP have taken up one of the ideas in the paper I prepared for James Purnell DWP Secretary of State. They are establishing a "Future Jobs Fund", which will create jobs for young people by TSOs and Local Government. It's cool to see that the work we did in ACEVO has borne fruit in this way and James Purnell has made a generous tribute to me and ACEVO for this. James said "without the work of ACEVO this announcement would not have been possible. In particular, the paper Stephen Bubb prepared demonstrated that the voluntary sector has the ideas to create employment for people out of work. This Budget provides the funding that will enable the voluntary sector to develop local, useful jobs for the young unemployed."

We shall be taking advantage of this scheme in ACEVO. It is always good to see the results of effective lobbying. ACEVO can pat itself on the back, but more importantly it's great for the young people who face the perils of not getting a job.

Although we got nothing specific on Gift Aid, I believe we will get the higher rate change once the research project is finished. We carry on campaigning on this.

The extra £20m fund is also very much welcomed. It shows the value of continuous pressure on Government and the fact that they will listen. I was surprised that NCVO were so grudging in their press release about all this. Of course we want more, but I was brought up to believe you give credit where it is due (and then ask for more).

In the meantime we are putting together ideas for the paper we are producing for the next Third Sector Summit on June 2nd. We have commissioned Will Hutton of the Work Foundation to produce a document on how the sector can build recovery through job creation and expanding full time volunteering. Will has been campaigning on this issue and writes and broadcasts regularly on the need for a major jobs programme along the lines of the Roosevelt New Deal. We will be holding two round tables with members (Leeds and London) and are asking for evidence. Comments here welcome.

We are also producing a Paper for the Social Enterprise Summit on May 12th ACEVO has a large membership amongst social Enterprise CEOs - not surprising really as they sign up to the need for a professional and enterprising third sector; values that ACEVO espouse and promote. Allison Ogden-Newton is the CEO of Social Enterprise London, my Vice Chair and possibly the most vivacious Chief Executive in the sector.

But very very good news comes in from Brussels. Euclid has secured an EU core grant of eu60k to support our leadership work across the EU. Only eight other organisations secured such a core grant in the active citizenship programme. No other UK bodies got support. We were the youngest body to get a core grant. This is fantastic, not just because Euclid can use this resource well but it indicates strong approval from the European Commission for the work we are doing. It is notoriously difficult as a new guy on the block to get grants from the EU. Its a seal of approval and will enable more fundraising and, importantly, influence for us as the European third sector leaders network. The credit here goes largely to the talented Mr Addarri, ACEVO's international and Euclid Director. A chap of great learning and a network to die for, he has been tireless in promoting Euclid. And he demonstrates the ACEVO ethos of "just do it" with fun and verve. And his sometimes Italian ways (erratic timekeeping, wearing trainers with his suit etc) fit in well to the informal and zany atmosphere of the hugely talented and energetic ACEVO office. He arrived in ACEVO as an intern four years ago. Look what he has achieved.


Filippo said...

Thanks Stephen, we've achieved this because of you as well. you've backed the 'odd' Italian when nobody would have given a penny. thanks to be such a intuitive social enterpreneur!

alex said...


Here in Edinburgh, our social enterprise called surprisingly emough Enterprising Edinburgh is now taking shape. We are working on a project to engage young people with " serious games " i.e. how to harness the skills, creativity and enthusiasm of youth. Partners include the youth workers, games industry, money holders, local authority

In volunteering, the Social Investment Fund, Social Investment Scotland and other vehicles have given the sector some hope, and more importantly, recognition. The Ministers for Finance, and Enterprise hosted a workshop on April 14th to hear from the thirs sector, and social enterprise representatives, what the recession meant on the ground.

We certainly find in Edinburgh that local politicians are very open and encouraging. After all 65% of innovation comes from SME's, and that's exactly what most voluntary organisations and social enterprises are when they start.

If there are places in Leeds, please can I have an invitation

alex dot stobart at btinternet dot com

Thanks very much

Sir Stephen Bubb said...

thank you Filippo - just back from Brussels....and yes Alex you may come to leeds . acevo is a UK body so we are warm and welcoming to our Scots colleagues. Always !