As the Jewish Faith Partner of Volunteering England, it is a merger that we too have a vested interest in, having worked closely and enjoyed a fruitful relationship with the organisation for a number of years.
Time will tell if the marriage between the two is happily consummated. NCVO, led by Sir Stuart Etherington, is the largest and most vocal infrastructure body in the country and has an impressive track record of representing voluntary and community action. There may be some some friction as both agencies get used to each other’s company, though their co-habitation of the same building for a number of years should help the transition.
We in our Jewish Community have also witnessed mergers such as Jewish Care and Jami and Nightingale House and Hammerson House so clearly there is a trend happening here compounded by Government cuts and the economic situation.
When the Coalition arrived in 2010 there was much talk about volunteering as being integral to the success of David Cameron’s Big Society initiative and at first there were high hopes for the sector. But as the reality of the economic climate hit home it became obvious that despite the need for more volunteers, funding it all at the same level as before wasn’t possible.
But for Volunteering England, setting up home with NCVO the country’s leading civil society charity may well turn out to be a good move, provided they can ensure that the core values of volunteering are not lost.
The last word must surely go to Sir Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive of NCVO and good friend to JVN
“This merger builds on years of close co-operation between NCVO and Volunteering England. We have a shared vision of how volunteering and voluntary organisations are at the heart of civil society. By pooling our skills and experience we will create a stronger champion for voluntary action.”
We at JVN look forward to seeing how we can all work together in the future – to the good of all faiths with common goals and shared beliefs.