Official launch today

After sixteen years of focused collaboration amongst national bodies supporting grass roots communities the Community Sector Coalition (CSC) is taking a major step forward and becoming a Community Interest Company.

Established in 1994 as a loose gathering of senior figures in their organisations the early mission was to portray to the then Conservative government that communities were worth investing in and that Community Development needed to take a higher priority in government thinking.

In the intervening years the CSC has strengthened, found a clear collective voice and engaged with Ministers in the last and present administrations. It played a crucial role in engaging communities with sustainability issues through leading the DEFRA funded Every Action Counts project which supported 2000 community groups and trained 800 Community Champions, and hosted the Milliband brothers when they jointly signed the 'Third Sector Declaration on Climate Change’, while David was the Environment Minister.

The brief has continued to widen through active participation in the BIS ‘Learning Revolution’ and leading figures are regularly consulted on a range of matters.

As a partner in the Capacitybuilders funded National Support Services Leadership and Governance workstream, CSC has developed a practical new approach to leadership for smaller community organisations called Liberating Leadership. It successfully trained nearly 200 development workers to recognise and support grassroots leadership. The Coalition has supported the creation of Liberating Leadership Ltd a new social enterprise that will continue to deliver leadership training for development workers and community organisations. Through the most intense period of action with Every Action Counts, BASSAC took on the hosting of staff and acted as fund holder and it is its imminent merger with DTA that brings this arrangement to an end and encouraged the formation of the new executive group.

Monday 28th March sees the establishing of a corporate entity with a small team of Directors to lead the work through the difficult years ahead when despite the enthusiasm for ‘Localism’ resources for the explicitly designated Community Sector are again greatly reduced.

Nick Beddow, Chair of the new organisation, says “as ever we will draw on our collective strengths and advocate for support to go to the grass roots. Against the background of cuts the least well off will need the most support – we aim to champion their interests”.

Date Added: March 28th 2011