"We are social creatures, our behaviours are shaped and constrained by social norms and expectations. Negotiating change is best pursued at the level of groups and communities. Social support is particularly vital in breaking habits, and in devising new social norms and more sustainable patterns of consumption. Government can play a vital role in nurturing and supporting community based social change." Professor Tim Jackson, University of Surrey
Community and voluntary action for sustainability has common and overlapping interest with the wider community and voluntary sector. Both have an interest in the capacity and well-being of the sector as a whole - the extent to which community and voluntary action, especially at the local level, can thrive.
Both can be allies within partnerships, such as Local Strategic Partnerships. Representatives form the more formal voluntary sector have a wealth of experience, whilst sustainability brings a unifying vision.
At the local level, in different areas different kinds of agencies may be the most natural allies, or potential allies, to local action for sustainability. In some areas it may be Councils for Voluntary Service, in others it may be Volunteer Bureau or Rural Community Councils.
Local Agenda 21 groups and Sustainability Forums concerned with a Stakeholder approach to local action will want to be aware of the full range of community and voluntary groups in their area.
Research for the Home Office Citizenship Survey 2001 showed that just under two fifths of people took part in formal volunteering (39%, taking part at least once in the last 12 months), whilst two thirds of people (67%) volunteered informally. Home Office Research Development Statistics
Action Ideas Edit
- Local environmental projects
- partnership working
- alliances and coalitions
- WWOOF - see main Community & voluntary action article
- Advocate expenses for volunteers, so that no-one should be out of pocket from volunteering, and it isn't something just for those that can afford it
- Volunteering for the National Trust
- Volunteering with the Waterways Recovery Group / Waterways in the United Kingdom
- Green gyms
- Micro-volunteering W
- Make a gift of your time as a Christmas, birthday or other present to someone (for example some kind of volunteering toward a particular cause they may be passionate about)
- NCVO UK Civil Society Almanac, statistics on the Voluntary Sector and Civil Society in the UK
Wanted pages and external links
- ZeRC partnership with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). ZeRC aims to help charities and community organisations find zero rent commercial premises
- National Coaliation for Independent Action
- Defra's Third Sector Strategy, November 2008
- National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)
- NAVCA, the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action
- Volunteering England
- VolResource Independent portal site
- Charity Commission for England and Wales
- Communities Information from the Home Office (government department)