Introduction

Communities across the country face sizeable challenges, from climate change, technological transformation, economic insecurity and inequality, how to enable people to live better lives for longer, and a democracy and society that appear deeply divided.

But this moment is also one of opportunity: to rethink radically the way people and communities can shape and improve their lives and ultimately thrive.

This requires a commitment to change at all levels: economic, social, political. Charities and volunteering are central to driving this change.

At their best, charities reflect the communities they serve. The variety of causes and people they involve makes them uniquely placed to work with government, business and across diverse communities to address the challenges faced.

This manifesto calls for greater political and financial investment and greater recognition of charities’ role in shaping our country’s future. We want to see a re-think of how volunteering, the ‘voluntary’ sector and its connection to wider society are seen. In particular, we want the future health of charities and volunteering to be a mainstream concern.