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The Essence of the Big Society Network

The Essence of the Big Society Network

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Published by socialreporter

Briefing document from the
 Big
Society
 Network


Briefing document from the
 Big
Society
 Network


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Published by: socialreporter on Aug 30, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/25/2015

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TheBigSocietyNetworkTheChallenge
FlourishinglocalsocialenterprisesandneighbourhoodgroupshavetransformedthelivesofindividualsandcommunitiesthroughoutBritain,buildinguponthelong‐standingworkofnationalsocialorganisations
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Yet,despitethesetremendoussuccessstories,manyBritishcitizens–facedwithhugeeconomic,environmentalandpersonalchallengesintheirdailylives–stillfeelisolated,disempowered,unequalanddisinterestedinciviclife:
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Socialisolationandlonelinesshavereachedrecordlevelsamongstoldandyoungalike:7millionpeopleliveontheirowninEnglandandWales,and1in10ofthepopulationreportfeelinglonelyonaregularbasis
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Communityfragmentationisincreasing,andtheBBC’sanalysisofcensusdatashowsthat97%ofcommunitiesaremorefragmentedthanin1971
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Averagelifeexpectancycanvarybetweenwealthyandpoorareasbyover14years,andtherichest10%ofthepopulationare100timesaswealthyasthepoorest10%
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Only39%ofpeoplefeelabletoinfluencelocaldecisions,andonly3%ofcitizensattendpublicmeetingsregularly
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Only26%ofpeopletakepartinanyformal,monthlyvolunteeringactivityHowever,wehaveenteredanerainwhichanger,frustrationandasharperinterestinrealdemocracycanbechannelledintopositive,creativeenergyandaction.Thereisarealopportunitytotransformtherecentpoliticalandeconomiccrisesintoanopportunity,and,inthecontextofanewpoliticalera,helpcatalysemassengagementandparticipation.
TheBigSocietyVision
AnewrelationshipbetweenCitizensandGovernment:acollectivedecision‐makingprocessinwhichbothareactiveandwillingco‐participants.Asocietyofempoweredindividuals,strongneighbourhoodgroups,andgreatercommunityparticipation.Asocietyinwhichmoremoney,resourcesandpowersarevestedlocally,therebybuildingbenefitsofincreasedtrust,morevisibleresultsandreducedbureaucracy.Asocietyinwhichsocialenterpriseisastrongandvaluedeconomicmodel,enablingmanypeopletoinvestconfidentlyinsocialoutcomesthroughtime,skillandmoney.
TheBigSocietyNetwork’sMission
WewanttoturnTheBigSocietyintoapractical,accessibleandrewardingrealityofeverydayvaluetocitizens,enablingthemtosuccessfullytakeactionintheirlocalareas.

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