2016 has been a year of political shocks; most recently the election of Donald Trump as President Elect of the US and of course, Britain deciding to leave the European Union. We recently looked at the impact that this decision would have on the Third Sector; now we have decided to leave, there has been much speculation as to the role charities would play in a Britain out of the EU. While the referendum result poses challenges for charities, there is also an offering of opportunities.
The result of Brexit still continues to spark controversy whenever it is mentioned, with growing uncertainty of what a deal will look like and how it will affect UK charities. The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has therefore decided to tour the UK to speak to the major UK political parties to get a feel for how charities will be involved and have posted their findings in the report: 'A Stronger Britain: How can charities build post-Brexit Britain?'
The referendum has shed some light on the country we are today, what unites us and what divides us; charities being born out of their local communities are an effective way to tackle the divides that Brexit has caused. The CAF report stated that charities have a role to play in building a better society and a new place for Britain on the global stage.
Key points from the report:
- Nearly 14 million people feel that their community is more divided than it was at the start of the year
- 12% of people feel that a sense of community spirit in their local area is more noticeable than it was previously
- 30% of people now say that they are more active in a political or social cause
- About 9 million peoples say that they feel more inclined to volunteer in order to help their local community
- 46% believe that charities can help improve community cohesion
- 63% of people agree that charities can provide support to marginalized groups
- 33% agree that charities are needed to support communities during the process of Brexit
While tackling a divided Britain will be a difficult task, the power of charities in local communities can help bridge the gap by encouraging us to work together to ensure we get the best deal when we leave the EU. Despite divides appearing, Brexit has motivated people to become more political and socially active. Charities have a huge amount of influence and expertise that can be brought to the table, which it is hoped the Government will embrace.