Disability group welcomes Lords committee report on charities

VODG (the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group), which represents 90 disability charities, welcomes today’s report by House of Lords select committee on charities.

VODG particularly welcomes the select committee’s calls for:

  • a strengthening of social value considerations in public sector commissioning, including greater recognition of the significant benefits of charities’ involvement in service delivery
  • a greater recognition of the need for longer-term contracts to ensure that sustainable services can be planned and delivered
  • funders to provide more resources for volunteer managers so that charities can make the best use of volunteering efforts.

Dr Rhidian Hughes chief executive of VODG said:

“There has been a rapid expansion of the charitable sector’s role in public service delivery over the last 20 years. The aggregate cost of social care services provided by voluntary sector organisations is estimated to be at least £7.2 billion per year. Of all public service areas, social care is thought to have the greatest involvement from the third sector.

Public service commissioners need to widen their horizons beyond the cost of a service and do more to focus on the outcomes being delivered. Voluntary sector organisations reinvest any surplus from trading activities for social good. These activities see charities investing in local communities, building the capacity of volunteers and providing valuable services that, frankly, no public authority has the means of commissioning at a time of extreme austerity. There has never been a more important time to emphasise the role of social value in the commissioning of public services.”

VODG’s resources support the voluntary sector to address many of the points highlighted by the select committee: