1. £150 million Big Society 'endowment for the nation' launched - The new Community First endowment, which aims to raise £150 million to be invested to secure the future of local community projects in England, has been launched by Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society.
The Government will pay in up to £50 million, giving 50p for every £1 raised from individual, corporate and philanthropic donors. With Gift Aid tax relief, this will create a pot worth in excess of £150 million. The money will be invested and the return, expected to be up to £12 million per year, will be used to provide grants to local community and social action projects from 2015 onwards.
The Social Action Fund is a new grant fund of over £20 million managed by The Social Investment Business on behalf of the Office for Civil Society. The Fund aims to inspire organisations to create new social action opportunities; encouraging people to give what they have, be it time, money, assets, knowledge or specific skills. The second application window opened Monday 9 January 2012. All applications will have to be received by noon on Friday 3 February 2012. For more information - http://www.thesocialinvestmentbusiness.org/our-funds/social-action-fund
Successful applications will address the following themes:
Encourage people to come together in their locality to support each other
Projects that scale proven models to regional or national levels, or replicate them in other localities. Some priority will be given to models that encourage those who do not traditionally get involved as volunteers. Particularly interested in models that offer people the opportunity to give time and / or money to activities that deliver a public benefit and complement the public sector.
Focus on the different life stages of volunteering
Programmes that target the following will be favoured:
- Building a culture of participation among school children and university graduates
- Encouraging professionals who have retired or are on point of retirement to use their experience and skills for community/public benefit.
- Inspire and support NCS graduates who want to continue contributing to their communities through social action projects.
3. NAO report into Central Government's Implementation of the National Compact
In 2012 National Citizen Service will give up to 30,000 16-year-olds the chance to learn new skills and get involved in their community, a three-fold increase in the number of places in 2011.
The scheme will take place in a number of different locations across England. Information on providers by local authority area is available at -