Headlines: June 10th, 2005

The Home Office has given the go-ahead to the ‘Governance Hub’, one of six national hubs of expertise that make up part of the Government’s ChangeUp programme. The Hub, which is a partnership of eight voluntary and community sector infrastructure organisations, has already begun recruiting staff and a chair.It is designed to lead on and facilitate initiatives to improve the governance of voluntary and community organisations in England at national, regional and local level. It will help enhance the skills and knowledge of the sector’s 750,000 trustees and hundreds of thousands of committee members and increase the governance capacity of organisations. It also aims to encourage more people from across diverse communities and those outside the sector to become trustees by promoting the role as a valuable part of active citizenship.

The official announcement of support from the Home Office’s Active Communities Directorate was made in a letter confirming the formal offer of a grant, which will fund the Hub’s activities for two years. Ben Kernighan, Director of Services and Development at the Hub’s Accountable Body, NCVO, said the health, vitality and probity of the voluntary and community sector depended on governance. The Hub, he said, would bring together a wealth of expertise from across the country and make a real difference to governance throughout the sector.

Jeremy Crook, Director of Black Training and Enterprise Group, a member of the Governance Hub partnership, hoped it would provide a practical, accessible resource that would reach out to the whole sector, including to black and minority ethnic organisations and to bodies not currently accessing governance support.

The Hub’s programme of work will be promoted at a series of meetings in all nine regions of the country between now and September by which time the team also aims to have promoted the new Code of Governance across the sector, to have commissioned a base line study to measure governance activity and developed its website as well as putting permanent staff in place.

The work of the Hub will be overseen by a Core Group consisting of individuals involved in eight voluntary and community sector infrastructure organisations.