Cabinet Office
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New guidance for consulting with the third sector

New guidance for consulting with the third sector

CABINET OFFICE News Release (CAB/110/08) issued by COI News Distribution Service. 26 November 2008

Today, Kevin Brennan, Minister for the Third Sector, published a practical handbook to help public servants open up the consultation process, to reach third sector workers on the ground and to use their experience to influence policy outcomes.

The handbook accompanies new research by Involve on effective and innovative ways of consulting with the third sector. The report was itself the product of a partnership between government and the sector, and was funded and commissioned by the Office of the Third Sector and Children England, an umbrella organisation for third sector organisations working with children, young people and their families.

Kevin Brennan, Minister for the Third Sector, said:

"One of the most fundamental tasks that the third sector undertakes is to ensure that the voices of individuals, organisations and communities are heard - including the most marginalised sections of society.

"We recognise that the unique role and the diversity of the third sector sets policy makers a challenge in conducting effective, meaningful consultation - but the benefit of getting it right makes it well worth the effort."

"Government policy has a real impact on the people whose lives we all aim to improve. This practical handbook will help policy makers work more effectively with third sector organisations, contributing to a stronger and fairer society."

Today's research illustrates how third sector organisations can influence the debate about local needs and can provide unique perspectives and insights as to how those needs are addressed. It also encourages an environment in which the third sector can work in partnership with government, and can campaign for change, whilst retaining its independent voice.


To get a pdf of the report and the handbook, please visit:

Notes to editors:
The Office of the Third Sector is part of the Cabinet Office that deals with Government policy on charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprise. More information can be found at

Children England: Formerly National Council for Voluntary Child Care Organisations (NCVCCO) is the leading membership organisation for the children, young people and families voluntary sector. Children England provides capacity building, support and information to its members and to the wide range of voluntary sector organisations working with children, young people and families. Contact Joe Levenson, Director of Policy and Communications, 020 7833 3319

Involve: Involve are public participation specialists; bringing institutions, communities and citizens together to accelerate innovation, understanding, discussion and change. Involve makes a practical difference by delivering high quality public participation processes as well as undertaking research and policy analysis into what works in public and stakeholder involvement. It is a not for profit organisation.
Contact: Karin Gavelin 0207 632 0123,

For further details contact:
Cabinet Office Press Office 22 Whitehall LONDON SW1A 2WH
Tel: 020 7276 0436

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