Big Society - useful links

The Government's Big Society Programme [pdf]

Big Society advocates

Big Society Network [external website]

Big Society Network Blog [external website]

Big Society in the North [external website]

Central Government

Big Society De-regulation Taskforce

The Charity Commission [external website]
The independent regulator for charities in England and Wales.

Department for Education - Free Schools [external website]
Free Schools are all-ability state-funded schools set up in response to parental demand. The most important element of a great education is the quality of teaching and Free Schools will enable excellent teachers to create schools and improve standards for all children, regardless of their background.

Local Government

Barrier Busting - devoted to helping local people get things done for their community [external website]

Local Government Information Unit - Big Society Learning Network [external website]

Department for Communities and Local Government - Big Society [external website]

Vanguard councils

Eden Valley (Cumbria) [external website]
Windsor and Maidenhead [external website]
Sutton [external website]
Liverpool [external website]


Citizenship Foundation [external website]
The Foundation encourage and enable individuals to engage effectively in their communities and in democratic society at large.

Community Builders Fund [external website]
The Fund supports organisations at the heart of of communities with finance, training and resources

National Federation of Community Organisations [external website]

Volunteering and charities

Association of Charitable Foundations [external website]

Access to Volunteering [external website] The Access to Volunteering Fund is a pilot that aims to increase the number of disabled people in volunteer positions by breaking down the barriers they currently face when wanting to volunteer.

British Youth Council [external website]
British Youth Council run training workshops, create volunteering opportunities and build inspiring campaigns which give everyone aged 25 and under a chance to make a positive contribution to society both in the UK and other countries.

Capacity Builders [external website] Capacity Builders invests in improving the quality of support and advice available to charities, voluntary and community groups and social enterprises.

Catch 22 [external website]
Catch22 is a local charity with a national reach. They work in over 150 towns and cities, with tens of thousands of young people every year – supporting young people with tough lives who are facing difficult situations. They may have had tough upbringings or are living in difficult neighbourhoods.

Charity Trustee Networks (CTN) [external website]
A free membership organisation for trustees which offers, amongst other benefits, ‘trusteefinder’, the largest free national recruitment portal for trustees.

Community Service Volunteers [external website]

The European Year of Volunteering [external website]

Institute of Fundraising [external website]
Professional membership body for UK fundraising. Its mission is to support fundraisers, through leadership, representation, standards-setting and education, and it champions and promotes fundraising as a career choice.

KnowHow NonProfit [external website]
Enables an online community of individuals and organisations in the voluntary sector to share knowledge and expertise, and inspire effective practice. It aims to improve the efficiency of non-profit organisations by increasing the knowledge and skills of people working in the sector-especially those new to training or who are ‘hard to reach’.

i-volunteer [external website]
i-volunteer is a social action network connecting people that want to get involved in their community with others that share the same passion and interest and with charities and community groups that need help. The site includes useful networking tools plus facilities to blog, promote events and create groups to run projects and campaigns.

NAVCA [external website]
NAVCA is the national voice of local support and development organisations in England. We champion and strengthen voluntary and community action by supporting our members in their work with over 160,000 local charities and community groups.

National Council for Voluntary Organisations [external website]

National Youth Agency [external website]  - We are an independent charity, and the partner of choice for local government, local authorities and third sector organisations, delivering with them, and advising and supporting them in the development of programmes and policies for young people. Increasingly, we also work in partnership with the private sector.

Timebank [external website]
TimeBank is a national volunteering charity that supports individuals and businesses to find rewarding volunteering. We also design our own projects that give volunteers the opportunity to have an impact in the community. 

Volunteering England [external website] 

V(inspired) [external website] v, the national young volunteers service, is an independent charity dedicated to helping young people volunteer in ways that matter to them.

Youth Action Network [external website] for all young people to have the opportunity to participate in youth action volunteering and develop their own solutions to community needs

YouthNet [external website]  provide emotional support to young people through online advice and guidance, and help them give back by providing a fast, easy route to all types of volunteering.

Charitable giving

Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy [external website]

Directgov – Giving money to charity

Tax Effective Giving [external website] 
Comprehensive information about all forms of tax-efficient giving. Aimed at everyone involved in charitable giving: charities, fundraisers and donors.

Social enterprise

Social Enterprise Ambassadors [external website]
Social enterprise is about changing the world through business. The Social Enterprise Ambassadors are leaders of some of the country's most successful social enterprises. Learn more about these exceptional people, their businesses, and how you can get involved.

Social Enterprise Coalition [external website]
The Social Enterprise Coalition represents a wide range of social enterprises, regional and national support networks and other related organisations. 

Business Link - how to set up a social enterprise [external website]

Social Enterprise London [external website]
We offer a world leading programme of events, training, research and consultancy, and run the largest network of social enterprises anywhere in the UK. 

UnLtd [external website]
UnLtd is a charity which supports social entrepreneurs - people with vision, drive, commitment and passion who want to change the world for the better. We do this by providing a complete package of funding and support, to help these individuals make their ideas a reality.

Teaching resources

Giving Nation Challenge [external website]
The Giving Nation Challenge is alearning programme. It aims to boost learning about charities, social enterprises and individual giving. It does this by providing a unique new curriculum-based active learning resource and a grant to help schools get going.

Go-Givers [external website] 
Go Givers is a leading national programme funded by the Cabinet Office to develop caring, concerned citizens with the confidence and skills to make a difference to their communities, both local and global.

KnowHow NonProfit [external website]
Enables an online community of individuals and organisations in the voluntary sector to share knowledge and expertise, and inspire effective practice. It aims to improve the efficiency of non-profit organisations by increasing the knowledge and skills of people working in the sector-especially those new to training or who are ‘hard to reach’.

Think Tanks

Matthew Taylor - RSA [external website]

New Economics Foundation [external website]

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