Government policy and funding round-up: December 2021

This round-up will help you to stay informed about our influencing work, and any government policy and funding announcements. For news related to what’s happening in parliament, see our regular inside track round-up.

Government’s updated plans on vaccination requirements

The government is planning to make vaccinations a legal requirement for some health and social care roles delivering Care Quality Commission regulated activities, unless they’re exempt. This applies to volunteers and workers delivering face-to-face support. The requirement will come into effect on 1 April 2022.

To be vaccinated in time, workers and volunteers will need to receive their first dose by 3 February 2022. Please read this blog for further information on the implications for charities and volunteers. We’re also hosting an event on this subject for members in January 2022. You can also keep up to date by reading our coronavirus guidance pages.

Recovery Loan Fund

The Recovery Loan Fund provides loans to UK charities and social enterprises that have been impacted by covid-19 and need funds to help them to survive, recover and grow. The Social Investment Business (SIB) has decided to make an existing government guarantee scheme, the Recovery Loan System, more accessible to charities and social enterprises. SIB offers loans of £100,000 to £1.5m. The deadline is 20 May 2022. For more information visit the SIB website or email

Charity Commission chair announcement

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee has approved the government’s preferred candidate for the role of Charity Commission chair. We think Martin Thomas will bring a range of experience to the Charity Commission, including with a range of different charities.

We’re also pleased to see him restate his commitment to the independence of the role, and demonstrate his understanding of the challenges facing charities, during his pre-appointment hearing.

Banking charges for charities

Several charities have contacted us because they’re concerned about the impact of banking charges enforced by some banks. Charities are concerned about a wider range of issues, including setting up bank accounts, and lack of access to banking services in rural areas. We’re working with other charity infrastructure organisations to consider how we can best influence on these issues.

Social care white paper

The government has published a social care white paper. This follows widespread worry about whether recent government proposals will stabilise and transform social care to make sure people of all ages can live fulfilling lives. While there’s some positive messaging in the white paper, there’s clearly a lack of resource to bring about the change needed.

Social Care Futures, a movement led by people who draw on social care, has produced their own white paper and calls on organisations across sectors to take a fresh approach to campaigning.

Mobilising Voluntary Action

Over the past year we’ve been working with the University of Northumbria, University of East Anglia and University of Essex to evaluate voluntary action responses to the covid-19 pandemic. We’ve done this through the Mobilising UK Voluntary Action project in England. Read the final report on volunteering in England during covid-19.

Levelling up white paper

We’re expecting a levelling up white paper to be published in the new year. This paper will set out proposals to address inequality across the country. Over the summer, we engaged NCVO members to set out our thinking for what the levelling up agenda should address. Keep an eye out for the NCVO blog to come regarding the levelling up white paper. You can also follow our Twitter account for further updates.

Government funding

The government is developing a grants portal that aims to be ‘simpler, faster and fairer for people and organisations to access government grants.’ You can find out more, including how to get involved in the project, on the grants community blog post on GOV.UK.

The first round of awards have been announced for the Community Ownership Fund, Levelling Up Fund, and Community Renewal Fund (which is planned to be a pilot for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund). Background information and guidance about these funds can be found on GOV.UK.

The Volunteering Futures Fund has been set up to address barriers to volunteering. You can find more information on GOV.UK.

If you have any questions, please email

NCVO event

Launch event for the Road Ahead

The Road Ahead is our annual analysis of the changing operating environment for anyone working in the voluntary sector. Book your place at the 2022 launch event, taking place on 18 January 2022.


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Rebecca Young is a senior policy officer at NCVO, working primarily on public services and volunteering policy. Before joining NCVO, Rebecca led on mental health, housing and disability policy at the National Union of Students.

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