Could volunteers swing the next General Election?

Could volunteers swing the next General Election?

Some really good things in the new NCVO Manifesto 2015 – written with next year’s election in mind, reflecting on the issues we face as a society and how a new government might take the needs our many voluntary organisations seek to address more seriously.

In the foreword their Chief Executive, Sir Stuart Etherington quotes some great statisitics such as 15.2m people volunteering each month and writes:
“It is time to talk again about how we work together to make our country stronger, fairer and optimistic about its future. It is time to talk about how working in partnership together we will be better able to deal with the opportunities and challenges of the future.”

And it makes some very practical suggestions in relation to volunteering, including:
– Support growth of the volunteer movement – we call on all politicians to commit to supporting the growth of the volunteering movement… ensure that government policy does not stand in the way of volunteering.
– Create a new access to volunteering fund – build on the legacy of the Paralympic Games and open up volunteering opportunities for more disabled people …
– Support local philanthropy by match-funding donations from businesses and individuals
– improve access of frontline voluntary organisations to social investment

Let’s see how much of this appears in any of the political party’s manifestos.

It ends – ‘We do not believe the policy challenges of the future can be met through voluntary sector initiatives alone. They require a fundamental rethink of the way government works – and as part of that, the way it works with us.’

Strong stuff. With that many volunteers, many of whom are very likely to be amongst those who take the trouble to vote, the parties who take the needs of volunteers, and the issues they are raising, seriously could have a significant edge.

To download a full copy go to their web site –



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