Charity and Voluntary Sector

SE: England’s love affair with table tennis is set to continue as the innovative street ping pong initiative Ping! returns to our streets this summer.  This time it’s bigger than ever, with a record 12 regions taking part and more than 500 public ping-pong tables available for freeplay.  To join the fun, simply borrow a bat from the side of the table and play ball!  
 
Backed by National Lottery funding from Sport England, Ping! launched last week in Bristol and will roll out across the rest of the country this week with a special floating ping pong party on HMS President in London.
Press release & links
 
UKOC: Over the last few months, UK Online Centres been working with Jobcentre Plus to support their work experience initiative by offering individuals placements as volunteer Digital Champions in our centres - and you could get involved too.
 
The scheme is rolling out regionally throughout the rest of this year and centres who have already taken part have found it's a great way to build a stronger relationship with their local JCP, add extra resource in their centre and bring in fresh experience & new skills from the volunteer taking part. 

If you're interested in taking part and offering a jobseeker experience of working in a UK online centre, please email UKOC to get involved.
Press release & links
 
BIG: 32 Local Authority areas across England have been shortlisted for a share in a £70m funding package under the Big Lottery Fund’s Fulfilling Lives: Ageing Better programme tackling social isolation for vulnerable older people.  The area partnerships will be led by local voluntary organisations.
 
The initiative will make funding available in around 15 to 20 local areas, over a period of up to 6 years, to pilot area-wide, voluntary service led local authority partnership projects to improve the lives of older people.  Awards will be made in Spring 2014.
Press release & links
 
CO: Public servants who form ‘John Lewis style’ mutuals to take control of their services need better access to external finance if they are to transform public services, a report published yesterday argued.  

The Boston Consulting Group report, Soft Finance, Hard Choices, analysed the performance of 71 mutuals, which currently deliver £1.2bn of public services, as well as 15 mutual projects in development. It found clear evidence that mutuals are improving service quality & driving innovation.
 
It also showed that they are performing well as businesses with the 62 mutuals launched since 2010 generating substantial growth and creating as many as 3,000 new jobs. 

The report warned that as the number of new mutuals increased, greater consideration must be given to attracting social & private capital investment to ensure long-term sustainability.
Press release & links
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