Luke Stanley, Senior Researcher at Onward, discussed the Levelling Up White Paper. He writes:
‘Helping people to give back is crucial for delivering on levelling up and empowering communities to restitch their social fabric. As Onward’s Social Fabric Index, which was cited in the White Paper, shows, places with stronger civic engagement tend to be more prosperous, happier, and less vulnerable to economic shocks. And the flipside is also true: those places with weak social capital are most in need of levelling up economically.
‘Despite this, the White Paper had very little to say about helping people to volunteer. The only measures announced were an extension to National Citizen Service, a commitment to ensure state school can access the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, and £4m for the #iwill fund to create more opportunities for young people to volunteer. All welcome initiatives, but not enough to create the revolution in community engagement needed to deliver on levelling up.’
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