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Governance and Resources

The voluntary and community sector in England and Wales is diverse, complex, and constantly changing to meet society’s needs.  It includes organisations of varying sizes: small informal community groups to multimillion national and international charities.

The Voluntary and Community Sector includes services and activities provided for the public benefit by organisations such as registered charities, social enterprises, and faith groups.  It is vibrant and active and usually made up of independent organisations that operate on a “not for profit” basis to benefit society or the environment.

Any voluntary group with an annual income of more than £5000 must register with the Charity Commission.

This page provides definitions and information as well as links to support agencies and information relating to Governance and setting up an organisation.


Community Group

Small, informal organisations and self-help groups that often work at the local level (e.g., luncheon clubs, art and craft, social group, common interest). Run by volunteers to carry out activities and don’t usually employ staff.

Social Enterprises

Businesses that trade commercially but with a social purpose (e.g., a community owned shop).  They will reinvest some or all profit back into the business or local community.

Third Sector

Part of the community that isn’t the state (e.g., councils, NHS) or private sector. Will include voluntary groups such as registered charities and community organisations with a primary social purpose.

Not for profit

Organisations that do not distribute profits to private individuals (shareholders) and are expected to reinvest their profits into their social purpose.

Civil Society

A term normally used by Government. People acting together and independently to make a positive difference to their own lives or those of others.  It can include a wide range of other organisations such as:  co-operatives, housing associations, employee owned businesses, religious and educational organisations and building societies.


Safeguarding is Everyone’s Business……

The Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (LSCP), Lincolnshire Safeguarding Adults Board (LSAB), Safer Lincolnshire Partnership (SLP) and the Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Partnership recognise the unique role of Safeguarding Officers/Leads in the voluntary and third sector.

As organisational leaders our responsibility is to ensure that we:

  • Provide a safe and trusted environment. Safeguarding involves a duty of care to everyone who comes into contact with a charity, not just vulnerable beneficiaries like children and young people.
  • Set an organisational culture that prioritises safeguarding, so it is safe for people to report incidents and concerns in the knowledge they will be dealt with appropriately.
  • Have adequate safeguarding policies, procedures and measures to protect people and make sure these are made public, reviewed regularly and kept up to date.
  • Handle incidents as they arise. Report them to the relevant authorities including the police and the Charity Commission. Learn from these mistakes and put in place the relevant mechanisms to stop them happening again.

To support you in your role, voluntary and third sector resources can be found on the LSCP page on the LCC website.

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