Published in August 2018, the Civil Society Strategy outlines a ten year vision for how government can work with and support civil society to improve lives and create a fairer society for all.

Over the last year, we have brought together people, charities, social enterprises and businesses to help build a society that works for everyone.

Scroll to explore a number of inspiring case studies and
read the
#OurCivilSociety document in full.

Grandmentors is an innovative project using the power of intergenerational mentoring to support care leavers who may be facing challenging life circumstances. It was supported through the Second Half Fund which helped 13 ambitious innovations to grow their work through the time and talents of hundreds of people aged 50+, alongside public services.

“It’s simply amazing to know that there is a local, truly supportive person who will always want to help me.”
Cole, Young Care Leaver from Ipswich

Close up Research

Image: Close Up Research

Image: Close Up Research

Through the Innovation in Democracy Programme (a cross-government programme with MHCLG) £550k has been invested to pilot innovative models of deliberative democracy, with three local authorities, to strengthen civil society, empower communities and build trust between citizens and their local authority. 

"In normal life, you are in your own bubble, thinking about how things affect you. In the Assembly we got a completely different perspective."
Lisa E, Greater Cambridge Citizens' Assembly participant

Stainforth4All received funding to train volunteers as ‘Digital Champions’, to work with older people and unemployed young people to develop their own skills towards employment. The £11.5m Building Connections Fund has supported 126 projects that prevent or reduce loneliness, supporting tens of thousands of people across England.

"My grandson has a son and daughter and I can see a lot of their photos on Facebook.  I listen to songs on YouTube from 60 years ago when I was in the forces and it’s brilliant.”
Bill (81), participant in ‘Give IT a Go’

Life Chances Fund

The Positive Families Partnership is a Social Impact Bond (SIB) project, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund's Commissioning Better Outcomes Fund, which supports families across London to stay together. It has also provided inspiration for two recently launched SIBs in Suffolk and Norfolk, supported by the Life Chances Fund (LCF), an £80m fund which aims to help those people in society who face the most significant barriers to leading happy and productive lives.

“I feel a lot stronger to be a parent and to look after him. I feel that I can deal with his behaviour now... I don't feel like I'm going to lose him, like I did before.”
Natasha (and Callum)

Encephalitis Society, which benefited from Digital Leadership training, provides support and information for those affected and collaborates on research into encephalitis (an inflammation of the brain). The Digital Leadership Fund was a £1m fund to build digital skills in the charity sector with 13 organisations across England receiving grants and 1,500 charity leaders trained.


Through connections made by the Inclusive Economy Partnership, 1,000 work placements for young people in the West Midlands have been provided. The IEP is one of DCMS’s key responsible business initiatives, bringing business and government together.

“The pilot’s main strength is the time we’ve spent with young people in and around Birmingham who are distanced from the labour market, to make sure our actions are led by their needs and ambitions.”
Mark Norbury, CEO UnLtd

Manchester Young Lives’ (MYL) Junior Playworker programme involves around 80 young people at a time across ten projects and is open to all children and young people that access MYL services and want to get involved in youth social action. Funding through the #iwill Fund is made possible thanks to £40 million joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and DCMS, to support young people in accessing high quality social action opportunities.

Rayany, Keira and Rayara have been involved as junior playworkers for a while, and they are proud of having raised £3,000 funding for activities for their peers and said that the project has helped them to take responsibility for themselves and others.

Manchester Young Lives

Finalists in the Tech To Connect challenge, a £1m competition that aims to play a direct role in helping civil society to tackle social isolation and loneliness using technology, Music Memory Box is a physical and digital tool for people living with dementia and their families to reminisce, reawaken and reconnect.

“Being a finalist has already helped us on our way to scaling our innovation, the Music Memory Box, to more families and carers so that they can reconnect with their loved ones living with dementia.”
Chloe Meineck. Creator
Music Memory Box

Alana's Story

In Devizes, long-term drug addict Alana’s world changed when she was introduced to community organising, as it gave her the confidence to go out and listen to local people about their issues and concerns. Supported by the local Social Action Hub, she now uses community organising to tackle loneliness in her community.

Through the Community Organisers Expansion Programme we have invested £4.2m in expanding the number of Community Organisers trained to 10,000 - an expansion of 3,500 - by March 2020.

The Ministry of Defence is generating more than electricity in their contract with Future Biogas and EDF Energy for RAF Marham. Using the Social Value Act 2012, they are sourcing locally grown crops for biogas to power the airbase, and supporting skilled, long-term employment opportunities in the Norfolk area. Extending use of the Social Value Act, as referenced in the Civil Society Strategy, will help us to achieve more examples like this.

“The government’s commitment to ensuring social values are at the heart of its contracts will ensure that the contributions we make to society are recognised in full. We fully support this excellent initiative."
Philipp Lukas, Managing Director of Future Biogas
RAF Marham

Credit: Future Biogas Ltd.

Credit: Future Biogas Ltd.

Cambs Citizens Assembly
Positive Families Partnership
Enecphalitis Society
Inclusive Economy Partnership
Junior Playworker
Music Memory Box
RAF Marham
"The thing that has become really clear to me is that many of the answers to the challenges our communities face, lie with the people in those communities.
Baroness Barran, Minister for Civil Society