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PM asks Danny Kruger to find out how charities can support Covid-19 recovery

26 Jun 2020 News

Danny Kruger

Danny Kruger has been charged with putting forward proposals to “maximise” the role for charities in the next phase of the Covid-19 recovery. 

Kruger, an MP and former Number Ten adviser, will consult with charities to look at how they can support public services and people facing additional disadvantage as result of the crisis, as well as what tools may be needed to support the sector. 

In a letter, the prime minister Boris Johnson says: “Working closely with Baroness Barran, the minister for civil society in DCMS, I would like you to consult with civil society organisations, local authorities, our colleagues in Parliament, and across government to develop proposals to maximise the role of volunteers, community groups, faith groups, charities and social enterprises, and contribute actively to the government’s levelling up agenda.” 

The letter acknowledges the “innovation, flexibility and can-do spirit” charities and social enterprises have shown so far, and says: “Government has a role to play in supporting the voluntary effort and social entrepreneurialism that have proved so valuable so far, and will be just as vital in the years ahead.”

Kruger is now an MP and was previously Johnson’s political secretary. He has extensive experience in the charity sector and was heavily involved in developing the government’s Civil Society Strategy in 2018. 

Johnson has asked Kruger to report back by 24 July and cover the following topics: 

  • How civil society can support the NHS and other public services more effectively.
  • Local social infrastructure such as libraries, youth clubs and services for older people, and the role of local communities in supporting this infrastructure.
  • How civil society can help people facing unemployment as a result of the pandemic, especially young people who are new to the labour market.
  • Public procurement, and how better commissioning of services can strengthen local civil society and improve outcomes.
  • The role of philanthropy, social investment and business, and what new forms of finance can be used to support communities.
  • The contribution of faith groups in strengthening social capital and community resilience.
  • Opportunities for young people.
  • The opportunities of data and technology to improve the effectiveness of charities and social enterprises, and to enhance collaboration between organisations in the public private.

On Twitter, Kruger said: “We have seen society in action in this crisis – how can we empower and strengthen communities for the long term?” 

He invited people to email him via [email protected].

The initiative was broadly welcomed by charity leaders on Twitter. 

Karl Wilding, chief executive of NCVO, said: “I think this is incredibly important. The #COVID19 crisis has shown civil society at its strongest. That it is something that we can build upon for the recovery and renewal. That it is the glue that holds communities together. I hope we all can support and engage with this.” 

Ndidi Okezie, chief executive of UK Youth, said: “Looking forward to speaking & working with you @danny__kruger Building on the great work @dianabarran has been championing #Youth orgs are ready & able to leverage their expertise to grow the number of bespoke opportunities available to engage & support all Young People  @UKYouth” 

However there was some criticism. 

Garry Jones, chief executive of Support Staffordshire, said: “A frankly bizarre list of priority areas that skirt all around the edges of actually supporting the VCSE sector.... expect more vague recommendations and no real change from the centre.” 

 

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