The 2015 Project: How can charities help to address our future economic and social challenges


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How charities help to address future economic and social challenges was discussed.

The 2015 project: Ideas for the future was the main theme of the presentation. The 2015 project aims to stimulate discussion about what role charities can, and should, have in a number of areas.

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The 2015 Project: How can charities help to address our future economic and social challenges

  1. 1. Filling the gap? How can charities help to address our future economic and social challenges
  2. 2. This presentation covers the first theme of NCVO’s 2015 Project: Economic and Social Justice. It explores three themes – the economy and jobs, welfare provision and demographic change The 2015 Project aims to stimulate discussion about what role charities can, and should, have in a number of areas. The feedback we receive will form the basis of NCVO’s work ahead of the 2015 election.
  3. 3. After a massive recession hit the UK in 2008, the economy has still not fully recovered, and continues to face a sustained period of low growth. Source: GDP Growth (% change quarter-on-quarter) The Economy
  4. 4. The OECD states that economic growth is expected to pick up gradually through 2013 and 2014. According to the Chancellor, Britain is “out of intensive care” and moving into recovery. Source: Source: However, in political contrast, the shadow chancellor, Ed Balls claims the British economy flatlined and the deficit reduction has stalled.
  5. 5. Spending cuts Source: The Barnet Council Graph of Doom This enticingly named graph shows that without radical change the cost of adult and children’s social services could be more than Barnet council’s entire budget in the future. This is an illustrative example of the huge challenges associated with public spending cuts teamed with increased demand for services. Source: Regardless of which party wins the next election, it will be difficult for anyone to make the case for more public spending.
  6. 6. It’s a pretty bleak picture for employment figures too. Source: Telegraph
  7. 7. Consistently, around 8% of the population are unemployed. That’s over 2.5 million people, roughly the same as the population of Jamaica. Source: Labour Force Survey – ONS
  8. 8. ‘Generation unemployed’ One of the major issues we face is the legacy from sustained youth employment. Currently, around 1 in 5 of young people (16-24) are unemployed in the UK. Source: Telegraph Source:
  9. 9. But all is not lost… Young people are the second most likely group to volunteer regularly. Source: Third Sector Source: Community Life Survey 13/Community%20Life%20Survey%20Q3%202012-13%20Bulletin.pdf
  10. 10. Society is changing We are a less religious, less married, more ethnically diverse, more atomised Britain – and there’s more of us than ever before. Source: Independent Source: ONS wales/index.html
  11. 11. Source: for-money-in-public-services/the-ageing-population/ An older demographic may add strain to public services, most particularly in health and social care. But an older population can present benefits as well as challenges. These might include: - Isolation issues - Pension poverty - A more experienced workforce - A society with more time to give We are also an ageing population…
  12. 12. A changing welfare regime Source: Guardian A major reform of welfare provision has taken place. A key objective of the reforms is to ensure that ‘work pays’ - removing incentives that mean it can cost people more to work than to remain on benefits.
  13. 13. The ‘skivers vs. strivers’ debate The framing of the welfare debate has become fairly political – nicknamed the ‘skivers verses strivers’ debate. Source: Politics Home
  14. 14. Increased demand for emergency support With unemployment high and further reductions in welfare spending, charities may well see an increase in demand for support, advice and emergency aid – such as food banks. Source: Guardian
  15. 15. So, what does this all mean? Some food for thought. Charities are often the organisations that are closest to, and provide support to, the most vulnerable groups in society. How will (or how should) charities be adapting to these changes identified? Is there a greater role for the voluntary sector to address the trend towards individualism? Or could long-term unemployment be addressed in a different way – should charities be the main provider? Has there been a shift in public attitudes towards welfare recipients? And if so, should the sector respond by providing an alternative narrative? Or making a conscious decision to collectively tackle unemployment and disengagement? What are the potential solutions to these social trends that charities can provide? What changes need to take place for the sector to work at its best?
  16. 16. What next? If you have 2 minutes - We’d love to hear your ideas in relation to these big debates – contact If you have 10 minutes – Please read our discussion papers and blog posts on each topic, and respond to the questions. Economy and jobs Discussion paper and guest blog from Inclusion Demographic change Discussion paper and guest blog from Age UK Welfare Discussion paper and guest blog from Oxfam
  17. 17. References Labour Market Statistics Telegraph: Recession risk remains, warns Osborne NCVO Almanac 2012 sectors-contribution-to-the-economy/ Guardian: Coalitions and austerity: Britain better get used to them The ageing population parliament/value-for-money-in-public-services/the-ageing-population/ Community Life Survey 13/Community%20Life%20Survey%20Q3%202012-13%20Bulletin.pdf Barriers and facilitators to pro-social behaviour among young people: a review of existing evidence Demographics and-wales/sty-non-uk-born-population.html OECD – Inequalities england-and-wales/sty-non-uk-born-population.html NCVO analysis: Spending Review 2013 guide-on-whats-important-for-charities/ Simplifying the welfare system and making sure work pays the-welfare-system-and-making-sure-work-pays#actions Guardian: food banks British Social Attitudes survey