Voluntary Sector: Charities to hit back at Big Society plans

Senior comms directors from ten high-profile charities have held discussions about forming a coalition to voice their concerns over the Government's lack of guidance on its Big Society plans.

Prime Minister David Cameron has suggested that charitable bodies could have a bigger role to play in public services under the plans.

However, charities remain confused about the role they are expected to play. Last week, top comms representatives from ten UK charities held a meeting at the Covent Garden Hotel to discuss ways to go forward. Lewis PR's director of media strategy and public affairs Clarence Mitchell, who handled PR in the search for missing child Madeleine McCann, led the discussion.

'From everything we are hearing, a number of charities are confused about how they can communicate with the Government to get Big Society implemented,' he said. 'If charities are saying they're not being brought into the conversation, there's an opportunity for the Government to engage charities.'

All of the charities present confirmed the Government has not engaged with them about how to be involved in the Big Society. Whizz-Kidz PR manager Rob Dyson, who also attended, agreed that 'charities working together to ask questions is a good idea, and if larger organisations can afford to rise up and take the smaller ones with them, all the better'.

Among the plans discussed was a letter to The Times followed by an extensive digital campaign.

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