Headlines: August 16th, 2005

ChangeUp, the strategy for building capacity and providing an infrastructure framework for the Community and Voluntary and sectors, is now being fully implemented following an injection of funding from the Home Office. ChangeUp’s aim is that by 2014 the needs of frontline voluntary and community organisations will be met by support which is available nationwide and offers provision that reflects and promotes diversity.The strategy is based on the creation of six hubs of support. The National Council of Voluntary Organisations has responsibility for the governance, workforce and ICT hubs. It will lead on 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 workforce hub will seek to ensure voluntary and community organisations have easy access to information and resources and support a culture of learning and development. It will also promote good management, leadership and employment practice and raise the profile of the sector as an area in which to work.

The Charities Evaluation Service has been given responsibility for the performance improvement hub, the Charities Aid Foundations for the finance hub and Volunteering England for the volunteering hub.

It is planned that all the hubs of expertise will be fully operational by 2006 and that they will bring key players together to provide strategic leadership. They will also act as gateways and beacons of good practice on key areas, reaching directly to frontline organisations to develop advanced thinking and good practice.