On Monday 2nd November we held an event at the Houses of Parliament, hosted by Lord Archy Kirkwood, a Liberal Democrat Peer who supports the Community Allowance campaign. Lord Kirkwood used to Chair the DWP Select Committee and said at the event, “When I first heard about the Community Allowance, I thought the DWP will never go for this, but I’m really pleased to see how much progress has been made.”
Over 60 people attended the event which was held to do three things:
1. to launch a new publication from the CREATE Consortium; a collection of essays from people across the political spectrum saying what they think about the Community Allowance
Contributions came from people as varied as Lord Adebowale, Chief Executive of Turning Point, Phillip Blond, Director of new think tank ResPublica, Sir Trevor Chinn, businessman, Hilary Cottam, Director at Participle, Julian Dobson, Editor of New Start, Will Hutton, Executive Vice-Chair of the Work Foundation, Glenn Jenkins, resident and Chair of Marsh Farm Outreach, Luton, Neil O’Brien, Chief Executive of the think tank Policy Exchange, Dame Barbara Stocking, Chief Executive of Oxfam GB and Julia Unwin CBE, Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation amongst others.
We will be publishing their contributions to this blog over the next few weeks.
2. We also launched a new report by the think tank nef (New Economics Foundation) a predictive Social Return on Investment analysis of the Community Allowance. This predicts that for every £1 invested in the Community Allowance £10 worth of social value will be generated.
3. We announced our three pilot partners for our first pilot of the Community Allowance over the next couple of years. They will be introducing themselves in more detail on this blog over the next couple of weeks but for now, they are:
Foresight in North East Lincolnshire
Learning Links in Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight
St Peter’s Partnerships in Manchester
We were overwhelmed by the number of exceptionally high quality proposals that we received from community organisations across the UK that wanted to pilot the Community Allowance. It was a very difficult decision making process and we wish we were able to work with more of the organisations who sent proposals to us. It shows what a need there is across the country for an initiative such as the Community Allowance and has made as more determined than ever to keep working until it’s available for anyone on any benefit anywhere in the UK.