Steve Brine MP

for Winchester & Chandler's Ford

30 MAY 2011

Building the BIG society

The Government's Big Society plans aim to make it easier and more attractive to give time and money to good causes.  The landmark Giving White Paper was a "breath of fresh air" from the Government says Steve Brine.

Britons are already generous but evidence suggests levels of giving time and money have flat-lined in recent years. The Giving White Paper seeks to renew Britain's culture of philanthropy by working with charities and businesses to support new ways for people to contribute which fit into busy modern lives.

This is exemplified by today's announcement that, following a suggestion in the Government's Giving Green Paper, its member banks have unanimously agreed to enable giving through all their cash machines in 2012. With 10 million transactions every day, this will be a major step to putting charity back into peoples' everyday lives.

New commitments in the White Paper include:

  • Over £40 million of funding over the next two years to support volunteering, giving and volunteering infrastructure by way of the Social Action Fund, Challenge Prizes and Local Infrastructure Fund
  • £1 million to support Youthnet which runs the volunteering website and which will share its data more freely with organisations. Facebook have said that they will make this data accessible through them
  • £700,000 to support Philanthropy UK connecting wealthy people with charities that need their support
  • £400,000 support from Government and NESTA to trial 'Spice' in England which gives volunteers 'thank yous' like vouchers or discounts with local businesses when they do good things for the community
  • Establishing a new honours committee to ensure people are recognised and celebrated for exceptional and sustained philanthropy
  • Trial charity promotions on the public service website Directgov that gets around 4.5 million visits per week
  • Open up government buildings to charities and voluntary groups
  • Hold a Giving Summit in the Autumn of 2011 to bring together charities, philanthropists, businesses, technologists and financiers to set the course for the future of giving
  • All Ministers have agreed to a one day volunteering challenge

MP for Winchester & Chandler's Ford Steve Brine says; "The building of a bigger stronger society will not be done by government but by citizens. Here in our part of Hampshire we have a strong civil society and I know my constituents will give a warm and positive reception to any measures to make it even better.

"The bigger society not emerge overnight however and Government has to play a role in supporting it. That is why, after levels of giving have flat lined for years, this government is taking action, introducing policies to make giving give back, cut red tape and spark innovation. These changes form part of our desire to build a big society, where power is decentralised, public services are opened up and social action is encouraged."

Pictured; Steve Brine with Rob Carslake, helping to raise money for Naomi House in Winchester.

How can you volunteer right now?

 A really good place to start is WACA, based in the heart of Winchester (see link below).

Or if you live in Chandler's Ford, contact One Community (see link below).

Slivers of Time is a social business that allows booking of your time to volunteer - see here.

Volunteering made easy with Do-it - see

Interesting idea from Pro Dono offers donors a reason to give by acting as a broker to organise meeting-of-mind experiences between donors and public figures - see

Download the Do Some Good App right now via iPhone - see here.

More information and related links ...

You can download the Giving White Paper in full via the Cabinet Office website here.

Visit Winchester Area Community Action (WACA) -

Visit One Community (Eastleigh) -

Steve opens the first Winchester Festival of Volunteering - see here.

Your MP supporting the Big Society in Commons speech - see here.

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Do you have a local issue you would like to campaign on alongside Steve Brine?  Get in touch today - see here.


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