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Election manifesto: Sheffield charities have their say

Charity representatives tell us their priorities ahead of next year’s general election.

Last week we met with NCVO and ACEVO members in Sheffield for our first election manifesto workshop.

We’re developing a manifesto which sets out a clear vision for society and the role of charities and volunteers in achieving it. We’ll use it to influence the thinking of all political parties ahead of the next general election.

It was wonderful to hear from a huge range of charities and groups. We spoke to people working to support their communities, from the provision of community hydro energy to health advice and support. The group really reflected the strength, passion and diversity of civil society.

Our themes

We discussed five different themes. Across each theme we talked about what change we want to see in the world and what civil society needs to make the greatest possible impact.

  1. Inclusive economy: How can we make sure that everyone can benefit from prosperity and opportunity?
  2. A good life: How can we make sure everyone can live a fulfilling life?
  3. Action on climate change: How we can build a sustainable future?
  4. Stronger communities: How we can ensure we can all make a difference?
  5. Democracy and civic space: How can we make sure all voices are heard?

We’ll ensure inclusion and equality run through each of these themes.

What we heard

Attendees shared a great deal of insight about what’s happening in their communities, and what’s needed to make a difference.

Here are some of the key takeaways we’ll use to shape our manifesto.

Be bold and assertive about our vision for society, not just a vision for charities and volunteers

We talked about ending destitution and tackling some of the big issues that create inequality. These include:

  • health inequalities
  • lack of transport
  • digital exclusion
  • lack of access to social care support.

Don’t be afraid to suggest a new model

We talked about not tinkering around the edges of systems that don’t work.

Let’s suggest a new economic and social model that works for people and the planet, rather than making small changes to a model that just doesn’t work.

We need to strength local communities, economies and organisations

Local voices should be empowered and respected, and organisations should be given the opportunity to get on and do the things they were set up to do.

Put lived experience at the heart

Direct lived experience of injustice or inequality should inform government policy and should be at the heart of this manifesto.

Charities are often led by people with lived experience, or amplify their voices.

Get involved

This feedback will be used to help us to draft a manifesto with ACEVO over the summer. We’re holding two more events, one in person and one online.

We’ll use the manifesto to speak to different political parties, including at party conferences this year.

Later in the year we’ll offer workshops to gather more feedback on the manifesto. We’ll also be offering practical support on what you can do in the run up to a general election.

You can support this work by signing up for one of our upcoming events. You can also email with any feedback or questions.

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