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New Commission looks at best ways to support voluntary and community infrastructure

A new Commission, chaired by Sara Llewellin, Chief Executive of the Barrow Cadbury Trust, has been launched by NAVCA to look at the future of local infrastructure. This evidence-based inquiry will examine existing local voluntary and community infrastructure and the challenges it faces.  It will meet for the first time on Monday 31 March with a remit to come up with practical ways to secure high quality support for local voluntary and community action throughout England.


The Commission will gather evidence from current infrastructure providers, charities and community groups, public sector bodies, the private sector, academics and other interested parties.  A number of evidence-gathering sessions will be held across England and will report back in the Autumn.


Joe Irvin, Chief Executive of NAVCA, said:

“Whilst NAVCA has strong views on the matter, this commission is independent. Members are drawn from a wide range of organisations and bring vast experience and many different perspectives. I look forward to hearing creative and radical practical solutions to support local voluntary and community action throughout England which focus on the help and support that people and communities need.”


Sara Llewellin, Chair of the Commission said:

“I welcome the opportunity to look afresh at the changing development needs of our sector, and would encourage people to contribute evidence and ideas to help us find the best solutions to meeting these needs. A Strong civil society strengthens democracy, and we need to be aware of the new opportunities which will arise from this changing environment, at the same time as being aware of the threats.”


Members of the Commission on the Future of Local Infrastructure:


Sara Llewellin (Chair), Chief Executive, Barrow Cadbury Trust

Amanda Ariss, Chief Executive, Equality and Diversity Forum
Elizabeth Balgobin, V4CE Representative
Janice Banks, Chief Executive, ACRE
David Brindle, Public Services Editor, Guardian
Councillor Gwilym Butler, Leisure, Libraries and Culture Portfolio Holder, Shropshire Council
Richard Caulfield, Chief Executive, VSNW
Lisa Cunningham, Programme Director, Business Connectors, Business in the Community
Justin Davis Smith, Executive Director of Volunteering,  NCVO
John Dwyer, Police & Crime Commissioner
Dharmendra Kanani, England Director, Big Lottery Fund
Rob Macmillan, Research Fellow, Third Sector Research Centre
Melanie Mills, Chief Executive, Social Enterprise West Midlands
Derry Nugent, Head of Philanthropy Services
Paddy Tipping, Police & Crime Commissioner
Martyn Underhill, Police & Crime Commissioners
Fiona White, Chief Executive, Community Lincs


NAVCA is the national voice of local support and development organisations in England.  It champions and strengthens voluntary and community action by supporting its members in their work with over 160,000 local charities and community groups.  NAVCA believes that voluntary and community action is vital for vibrant and caring communities.