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Charities Aid Foundation


20 June 2017  

Today will see the delivery of the Queen’s Speech, setting out the Government’s legislative agenda for the next two years.* It comes after an election campaign that delivered a rather indecisive result, leading to the creation of a minority Conservative government dependent on support from Northern Ireland’s DUP. We’ll be looking into the contents of the Queen’s Speech and what it might mean for charities later in the day.

Ahead of that, we have today released a new paper – Strong and Stable for the Many, Not the Few – that seeks to set out some areas for the Government to prioritise in the years ahead. Although, understandably, much of the Government’s time will be spent on the Brexit process, it is important that this is not to the neglect of the social challenges that persist at home.

This paper identifies a number of key areas for the Government to focus on, and puts forward a number of different recommendations that would help to further enhance the contribution that charities make to society.

It explores:

  • The growing importance of concepts of place and identity, and how those can be harnessed to strengthen communities and develop place-based philanthropy
  • The need for volunteering opportunities to reflect the different stages of life, and how government can take a lead when it comes to charitable donations
  • The cross-party consensus on tackling social injustice, and the importance of making sure that charities can use their expertise to improve policymaking
  • The principle of charity advocacy, and action the Government can take to ensure that charities are able to give a voice to their beneficiaries
  • The value of an inclusive economy and how charities can put forward new models to ensure that everyone has a stake, as well as the impact of technological developments
  • The role that charities can play in using soft power to influence the global agenda, and how the UK’s aid budget can help to grow civil society across the world

In many ways, this paper serves as a response to a general election campaign in which little was said about the UK’s charitable sector, the key role it already plays in society and how that can be developed further. As the paper outlines, the reality is that there is much common ground between politicians and charities. A positive working relationship between government and charities would harness the sector’s expertise and enthusiasm to help build a stronger society.

Over the course of this Parliament we’ll be working with government, MPs and Lords, seeking to ensure that charities are given an opportunity to help influence the political agenda. The last year has revealed a number of divisions, and putting charities at the heart of the country can help to bring people back together, and achieve a number of the aims that unite politicians, society and the public. We would urge all politicians to work with CAF and other charities to tackle the challenges that we face together.

*Typically this is a yearly event, but it has been decided that this Parliament will sit until 2019, presumably until after the conclusion of Brexit negotiations.

What are your thoughts? Let us know at or on Twitter @cafonline



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