Press releases

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), which represents charities and volunteering, has welcomed the government's announcement that the National Citizen Service (NCS) will be given a royal charter along with measures to enhance its accountability. NCS has provided positive experiences for many young people and helped them develop important skills.

However, NCVO said that NCS could still do more to work with local charities to ensure it reaches its potential as a starting point for life-long volunteering.

New recommendations would mean charities would not call members of the public without clear permission.

Plus donors will always have a way to opt out of phone calls and letters under proposals published today.

New proposals published today would put donors in control of their relationships with charities.

Commenting on the transfer of the role of minister for civil society from the Cabinet Office to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, which represents charities and volunteering, said:

We have always championed charities and the remarkable things they do for our society to every part of government. Charitable giving, volunteering and social action are part of the social and cultural heritage of Britain. Charities contribute to economic growth and run high quality, user-oriented public services. They can play an important role in delivering the ambitious social justice programme that Theresa May set out in her first speech as prime minister.

The renowned journalist and political commentator Peter Kellner is set to become the new chair of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, the representative body for charities, community groups and volunteering, it was announced today.

Mr Kellner succeeds Martyn Lewis, who has served as chair of NCVO for the last six years.

His appointment follows a competitive process led by NCVO’s president, Tanni Grey-Thompson.

The appointment, for a three-year term, is subject to ratification at NCVO’s annual general meeting in November.

Implications for charities and community groups from the Brexit referendum include political uncertainty, slow progress on government policy change, and potential financial challenges, according to a new briefing from NCVO.

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations said:

Charities have listened to public concerns – and have taken concerted action to ensure that members of the public can have complete confidence in what they do.

Charities, and all that they achieve, only exist thanks to their supporters and the wider public. We must ensure that all charities – regardless of size or sector – are well-run and well-regulated and that the mistakes of last summer are not repeated.

Charities have a crucial role to play in healing the divisions that the referendum has exposed, said Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

Commenting on the referendum result, Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, said:

The referendum has thrown into sharper contrast than ever previously a division in the United Kingdom. Questions of social mobility will rightly now come to the fore again. And we can hope that the racial tensions stoked so crudely and cruelly during the campaigning do not linger, but the risk of this is clear. Charities must now play their role in healing these divisions. They can and must help people in the communities they work with to understand, respect and cherish each other.

Organisations across the country are holding events to thank volunteers for their dedication and contribution. Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the millions of volunteers who give up their time in the service of others. Events are taking place across the UK from 1–12 June to mark Volunteers’ Week, which this year is running for an extra five days to coincide with the Patron’s Lunch on 12 June.

Charities and social enterprises should be deeply involved at every level of the health and care system, according to a new report backed by Alistair Burt, Simon Stevens and Duncan Selbie.

The UN Director-General has welcomed NCVO’s Constructive Voices project and the positive contribution of the charity sector. Speaking after a meeting of top journalists, editors and figures from the charity and social enterprise sectors convened by Constructive Voices, Michael Møller, a strong advocate of constructive journalism said:

I very much welcome Constructive Voices and that it is championing constructive, solutions-focused journalism at the very moment that this trend towards a more balanced kind of journalism is picking up steam. It’s clear from the comments at the meeting that the voluntary sector has a valuable role to play in contributing solutions to society. I hope the media take note of that.

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