New funding will ensure all charities can access safeguarding training to build safe and strong civil society

Protecting vulnerable people from harm must be a non-negotiable priority for the entire charity sector, Civil Society Minister Mims Davies has said

Mims Davies MP
Mims Davies MP

The Minister said it is vital that all charity employees and volunteers are able to spot warning signs of unacceptable behaviour, bullying and harassment and know how to handle and report concerns.

She has announced that Government and The National Lottery Community Fund are investing £1.2 million to develop new training to improve charities’ knowledge of safeguarding requirements. The National Council for Voluntary Organisations will bring together a partnership of organisations to develop the high-quality training.

Minister for Civil Society Mims Davies said:

"This funding will support employees, volunteers and members of the public to have confidence in handling and reporting concerns. And that means charity leaders must take a zero tolerance approach to misconduct and make sure proper protections are in place.

"Safeguarding is one of my key priorities. This training will make a huge difference ensuring charities, big or small, know their responsibilities, how to report concerns and have easily accessible advice to hand."

The training is part of a package of measures that comes 6 months after the launch of the Civil Society Strategy.

The Strategy - the first of its kind - set out a vision for how government, the public, social and private sectors can work together to support thriving communities and build a fairer society.

The Minister has also announced:

Five organisations across England will receive a share of £250,000 of government funding to help tackle barriers to volunteering in later life. The Age-Friendly and Inclusive Volunteering Fund, launched in partnership with the Centre for Ageing Better, will develop new ways to encourage older people to take part in voluntary and community activity. The government recognises the importance of tackling barriers to volunteering.

 The winning areas are:

Age UK Oxfordshire will use £53,340 to provide group support for bereaved people to help them feel confident about moving into volunteering, to improve wellbeing and combat loneliness.

Kent Coast Volunteering (£52,698) will target vulnerable and isolated older people in Thanet, East Kent to help them overcome physical and emotional barriers to volunteering.

Hastings Voluntary Action (£54,189) will reach out to BAME groups, refugees and asylum seekers to encourage them to volunteer.

Age UK North Craven (£56,611) will target older people in rural areas of Craven District of North Yorkshire to get involved in a community good-neighbour initiative.

Sustain (£55,332) will lead a London-wide project that will build on existing successful community food growing projects and target areas that have high levels of diversity and deprivation.

A further £144,000 is being invested to increase the number of places available to young people from disadvantaged areas in uniformed youth groups. Scouts will receive £130,000 to work with the National Autistic Society to develop resources about autism and support adult volunteers and parents. The funding will also extend a current scheme providing resources for adult volunteers in areas of deprivation.

The Jewish Lads and Girls Brigade will receive £14,056 to create a new curriculum based around character building and resilience.

Mims Davies added:

"The funding for these projects will make a real difference in our communities, breaking down barriers to volunteering for those who might otherwise miss out and giving more young people the chance to learn important skills and build friendships through youth groups.

"Six months after the launch of our Civil Society Strategy we remain absolutely committed to supporting the sector, improving lives and creating a fairer society."

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