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Communities are at the very heart of all VCS work. The VCS is formed from and works with communities of place and identity in varied ways, tackling issues, providing specialist support and filling in gaps that may not be met by mainstream service providers. This section will keep you up-to-date with policies that affect communties ranging from social inclusion to citizenship and community empowerment.

Community Organisers - Opportunity or Threat?

Following her presentation on community organisers at the NAVCA Annual Conference in London on Tuesday 22 November, Rachel Quinn, Chief Executive of One East Midlands, has published her latest blog post presenting her thoughts on the subject.

To read Rachel's blog post, entitled Community Organisers - Opportunity or Threat? click here.

Localism Bill receives Royal Assent

The Localism Bill has received royal assent and, as the Localism Act, will grant new rights to communities to bid for land and run local authority services. The legislation will require local authorities to maintain lists of 'assets for community value'. If any of these assets comes up for sale, the local authority must allow a suspension of six months on the sale of the asset, so that local groups have time to put together a bid to take it over for community benefit.

£50million Growing Places Fund announced

The Department for Communities & Local Government has announced a £500million Growing Places Fund to help boost economic growth by getting required built to enable the creation of new jobs and homes and get stalled projects moving again.

New scheme for communities to benefit from businesses

People who share a passion for connecting and engaging the resources of businesses for the benefit of the local community, are about to start secondments through Business in the Community's new Business Connectors programme. The programme is designed to:

Community volunteering medal reintroduced

The British Empire Medal (BEM), awarded as part of the Queen"s Honours system to British citizens making a difference in their communities until 1992, will be reintroduced in the Diamond Jubilee Honours list in June 2012.

Associated with the Order of the British Empire (OBE), the BEM was established in the same year, 1917. It was originally split into two medals, one for exceptional civil service and one for military gallantry, and was awarded to those who did not qualify to be made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).


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