The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has announced that £1.2m from the government and the National Lottery Community Fund will be used to develop safeguarding training for the sector.
NCVO has been charged with bringing together a partnership of organisations to develop the training and details will be announced shortly.
The money is part of a £2m fund announced last October when DCMS appointed a Safeguarding Programme Group with representatives from the Charity Commission, the National Lottery Community Fund, NCVO, Acevo, the Scout Association, the National Crime Agency, the Alzheimer's Society, Action for Children and NSPCC.
Speaking to Civil Society News for the first time since she was appointed, Mims Davies the minister for civil society, said it was important for trustees and volunteers to “understand their rights and responsibilities”.
She said she wants people to feel able to call out any bad behaviour at charities.
“There was an issue in my own constituency around DBS checks and safeguarding so I’ve had the experience of when things are of concern and you need to step in.”
She believes that by providing more support, more people will be encouraged to get involved in the sector, and her aim is to set the right conditions for the sector to grow.
Six months of the Civil Society Strategy
Today’s announcement has been made to coincide with six months since the Civil Society Strategy was announced.
Davies has focused on four areas to prioritise: youth opportunities, connecting communities, working with business, and using good and better finance. “I’ve also refined it because there is a huge amount in there,” she says.
Building connected communities is all about making sure people are “empowered to build that better society through both volunteering and charitable giving”.
DCMS is planning a conference later this year to mark one year of the strategy.
Funding to support volunteering
Davies also announced today that five organisations in England will share £250,000 from the The Age-Friendly and Inclusive Volunteering Fund, launched in partnership with the Centre for Ageing Better.
Age UK Oxfordshire, Kent Coast Volunteering, Hastings Voluntary Action, Age UK North Craven and Sustain have all been awarded just over £50,000.
Separately, the minister announced that a further £144,000 would be available to help young people in disadvantaged areas to join uniformed youth groups.
As part of this, the Scouts will receive £130,000 to work with the National Autistic Society in order to develop resources about autism and extend its scheme supporting adult volunteers.