Cabinet Office
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Major boost to innovations that support social action

Five projects get more backing from the Innovation in Giving Fund and a new Cabinet Office Centre for Social Action to launch in April.

Five innovative programmes that get volunteers involved in solving some of the biggest social challenges – from combatting isolation in old age to helping young people get jobs – will receive follow-on funding from the Innovation in Giving Fund. The Fund is run by Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, and funded by the Cabinet Office.

The five programmes to receive funding are:

  • Care4Care: a membership organisation where members spend a few hours a week supporting an older person in their local community and in return earn time credits that can they can use to build up their own care pension. After a successful trial on the Isle of Wight, Care4Care has been awarded £250,000 to develop the national infrastructure required to grow and support for further pilots across the UK.
  • Tyze: an online tool that enables a network to organise support for people with care needs, bringing together family, community, friends and professionals. After a successful trial jointly funded with the Nominet Trust, Tyze has been awarded £181,000 to build the capacity of the UK team and build new partnerships to make Tyze available across the UK. Watch a video about Tyze.
  • GoodGym: the service that makes it easy for people to combine exercise with doing good in their local community has been awarded £160,000 to consolidate the scheme in East London to launch in areas across England.
  • Apps for Good: a highly successful technology education programme that uses volunteers to help teach young people how to build mobile and Facebook apps to solve real life problems. It has been awarded £154,800 to enable it to reach more schools, engage more volunteers and achieve financial sustainability.
  • Inspiring the Future: a free service which matches state schools with people from all sectors and professions who want to volunteer their time to inspire young people with their own experience of education, jobs and careers. It has been awarded £150,000 for business and technology development.

In the last year, these five programmes have all been supported through the Innovation in Giving Fund, which was launched in 2011 to find and support new and better ways to enable the giving and exchange of time, assets, skills, resources and money for causes that they care about.

Since launch, the Innovation in Giving Fund has supported 67 ground breaking ideas – from technologies that make it easier to donate money to charity to new ways of connecting people who want to volunteer with opportunities to make a difference. All awardees of the Innovation in Giving Fund can be viewed at

Alongside this, as part of the commitment in the Giving White Paper: One Year On update, the Cabinet Office is also announcing its plans to launch a new Centre for Social Action in April 2013. Over two years the Cabinet Office will invest around £36m to support organisations who want to mobilise people to take part in social action. Recent investments include Join In, capitalising on the Olympic Legacy for volunteering in sports, and the Dementia Friends campaign launched by the Prime Minister which seeks to train one million volunteers to support people with dementia.

Within the Centre for Social Action, Nesta will run a new Innovation Fund, extending its existing work and support of innovative social action initiatives. The Centre for Social Action’s Innovation Fund will be backed by £10m from the Cabinet Office and £4m from Nesta. It will provide financial and non-financial support to help grow the impact of innovations that harness the capabilities, expertise and resourcefulness of citizens and civil society.

Further details of the wider programme of the Centre for Social Action, which will be in operation from April 2013, will be made available in due course.

In a dual role, Philip Colligan, Executive Director of Nesta’s Public Services Lab, has been appointed to the Cabinet Office as Government Adviser on Social Innovation and will advise on the wider strategy of the centre.

Philip Colligan, said:

What we see with these five innovations is the massive potential for social action -people helping people -to make a difference to really big social challenges. This is what the next chapter of public services reform will be about - better ways of engaging people, their families and communities alongside professionals. Through the Centre for Social Action’s Innovation Fund we want to help make this a reality.

Nick Hurd MP, Minister for Civil Society said:

We have seen the impact that can be made when successful programmes are given the support they need to grow. The Centre for Social Action will be an opportunity for us to build on what we have learnt in the last two years and ensure the best ideas and ventures in the social sphere get what they need to mobilise significant numbers of people and help build a bigger, stronger society.

Notes to editors

For media enquiries about the Centre for Social Action please contact Ben King at the Cabinet Office on 0207 267 1447. For media enquiries about the Innovation in Giving Fund please contact Sarah Reardon at Nesta on 020 7438 2606

  1. The Innovation in Giving Fund was launched in September 2011. The Fund is one of a number of new policies announced in the Giving White Paper in May 2011.
  2. Nesta (formerly NESTA, National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) is the UK’s innovation foundation, helping people and organisations bring great ideas to life. It does this by providing investments and grants and mobilising research, networks and skills. It is an independent charity.
  3. The Centre for Social Action is a new Cabinet Office initiative. Over 2013/14 – 2014/15 the Centre for Social Action will invest around £36m to provide support and finance to charities, public services and civil society organisations who want to mobilise people to take part in social action. Further details of the wider programme of the centre, which will be in operation from April 2013, will be made available in due course.

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