People talk about a desire to break down the barriers they see springing up between them and their neighbours. But often, they don’t know how. For English civil society to flourish in our fast changing world, we must begin to answer that question.
Epsom is a powerful analogy for much of the country: economic forces are sucking it towards the city of London, but it’s striving to develop its own identity. How that struggle plays out - between England as a hinterland for a once imperial capital, and England as a country in its own right - could be vital to the future not only of this one town, but of the whole country.
As the British economy has moved away from manufacturing and toward financial services, growing numbers in the city are unemployed, underemployed or in precarious employment, and the use of food banks is on the rise. Inequality has increased, with life expectancy as much as 14 years lower for residents in areas of Sunderland like Hendon, than it is for people outside the city in rural Northumbria.
Civil society, like the society it serves, is ever changing. If we are to harness the transformative energy of young people and communities, structures and funding will need to change to keep pace. People are eager to work together for the common good, we just need the government and funders to loosen the chains and let it happen.
So many organisations are seeking to make a difference to people’s lives today. But how can we involve the communities we work with in shaping the policies and systems that will change their tomorrows too?
One of the constant themes we’ve heard during the first year of the inquiry is the need to create places and spaces for people to come together, create and meet others. What's going on across Europe and what can we learn?
The challenges presented by climate change may feel like a question for the future in the UK but they are far from a distant threat. The consequences of the changing climate are repeatedly being felt close to home, particularly in the form of severe floods, which have hit hard in recent years from North to South.
…Those words from Julia Unwin powerfully capture the spirit of the Change Convention, hosted by Corra Foundation on 9 October in Edinburgh. The day brought together around 300 people, mainly from the voluntary sector, and offered a platform for conversations about how we can create positive change in times of uncertainty. Illustrator Amber Anderson spent …
“When I first started drinking here, the bottom half of town was out of bounds. That’s where the squaddie bars were.” My new friend pointed out the regimental cap-badges lined up behind the spirit bottles in the nearly empty pub. These days, those knocking back shots are not soldiers, but students. And Winchester’s undergraduates, it …
Maff: At the Association of Camerados we are thinking about the things that help people live a richer life, not necessarily things like a job or a home or a hostel. We believe it is friends and purpose that make a difference in this life. How do you create friends and purpose? Here is the …