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Enabling social action: guidance

Resources for public sector commissioners to help deliver public services.

Social action is about people coming together to help improve their lives and solve the problems that are important in their communities. It involves people giving their time and other resources for the common good, in a range of forms – from volunteering and community-owned services to community organising or simple neighbourly acts.

Whilst many of these activities occur without the support of the public sector (in which case the role of public servants is to ensure that the right conditions are in place for social action to thrive), some require more specific support from the public sector. This section introduces what social action is and explains how the public sector can grow it and harness its potential to improve outcomes.