Policy paper

Social action: harnessing the potential

This paper sets out how social action empowers communities and complements public services, and explains how government supports it.

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



This discussion paper explains what social action is and how it plays an important role in helping to respond to long-standing challenges. The paper also provides an update on government programmes to develop its reach and impact.

It sets out how social action:

  • empowers local groups, enabling local solutions and building resilient communities
  • increases the resources available to achieve social goals
  • offers new sources of expertise and knowledge
  • enables broader and better targeted support
  • creates new models for how society can respond to challenges
  • helps reduce demands on public services
Published 12 March 2015