Wednesday, 21 July 2010

You and Yours, and crime!

Well, I was due to go off to the launch of the Catch 22 Network at The Tate with Princess Anne and then I get a call asking me to do "You and Yours", the Radio 4 programme. I'm a great fan of BBC Radio 4 so the answer was yes of course! So off to Millbank where I get to chat on my way in to Alan Duncan MP (looking very fit and suave and who greats me warmly with "oh, your all over the papers today!") and one of my favourite Ministers, Nick Herbert MP (who I see later in the evening! ) .

A good programme but clearly indicates the problem Government has. They have concentrated on the supply side of volunteering and forgotten the demand. So they are concentrating on calling for more volunteers and more civic action whilst almost ignoring whether the country's charities and voluntary organisations have the funding or support needed to take on more volunteers and do more. There needs to be more discussion with the key established volunteering sector and other parts of the sector on how to make this happen and how it is to be funded .

There is a danger that this looks like just another Government volunteer initiative. We have had many of these. Money put behind them. Yet volunteering remains static. As I said on You and Yours volunteering costs if it is to be effective. It needs organisation and a framework.

Indeed this point was borne out when I spoke on the BBC News Live on Monday; the woman from Crosby who has established a great scheme to support young people's housing needs said they had had much needed support from local well established charities to do what they did .

You need passion and a framework for success, as Muhammad Yunis has argued. We see the passion. The framework is where exactly?

Then off to a well deserved lunch at The Ivy! Rory Sutherland, the UK Managing Director of Ogilvy and Mather is my host. He is doing some pro bono advisory work for our ImpACT Coalition. A fascinating lunch.

And in the evening, off to the RSA for Louise Casey's first major speech as Independent Commissioner for Victims and Witnesses. I have a particular interest - I was an independent advisor on the interviews for this appointment, handled most effectively by that star amongst Headhunters, David Fielding .

Louise gave a brilliant speech - just nine weeks into her job. She will be a great advocate for victims. As she explained the system and the bureaucracy may give you support as the victim of a serious crime, but it may not. Too often the victim is a side show to criminal proceedings. Many victims describe the criminal process as victimising them all over again. She gave an awful example of cases where in a murder trial up to six post mortems may be allowed which means the family cannot bury their loved one for months. The system is not benign to victims and it needs to change. She explained how almost invisible the Victims Code (did you know about that?) is and how unknown the complaints process is.

Of course our sector plays a huge role in victim support; those wonderful third sector bodies and their staff and volunteers. I wish Louise well ; she will need support on reforming this system.

1 comment:

sue holmes said...

Working with community groups requires more than funding and organisation - as important as these are. Volunteers in community groups and those who work in business and politics tend to have different mental and reward systems. Community groups use different parts of the brain to process information, and rely more on social and emotional rewards. These two ways of thinking have to be adapted into an integrated system if they are to work together to achieve the 'Big Society'.