Policy paper

Centre for Social Action funding

This document provides an overview of the Centre for Social Action and its funding streams for 2013 to 2015.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government



Social action is about people coming together to help improve their lives and solve the problems that are important in their communities. It can include volunteering, giving money, community action or simple everyday neighbourly acts.

Nesta social action video

This video by Nesta explains how social action can help people.

The Centre for Social Action aims to identify and accelerate the development and spread of high impact social action initiatives.

Through the Centre, Cabinet Office has now invested £36 million in 215 social action projects. We have also developed partnerships for an additional £31 million investment for these initiatives. The Centre is supporting these projects to increase their reach and demonstrate their impact through evaluation.


The Centre has supported projects across 6 themes:

  • health, ageing and care – improving health outcomes and helping people to age well and live independently for longer
  • young potential and social mobility – helping young people to reach their potential
  • rehabilitation – supporting ex-offenders to stop committing crime and to transform their lives
  • community action – helping communities to come together to take action on issues they care about
  • employment and prosperity – helping people get back to work
  • digital – exploring how digital services can enable social action

A number of these themes have been taken forward in partnership with Nesta, the UK innovation foundation, through the Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund.

Social Action: Harnessing the Potential sets out more detail on the Centre’s programmes and the role social action plays in empowering communities, improving outcomes and complementing public services.

Published 20 March 2015