From Boycott Workfare
Environmental charities The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) and Groundwork UK are two of the biggest workfare exploiters in the UK. Both accept forced labour placements, often to carry out hard, outdoor, physical work, and both have lucrative contracts to manage workfare schemes
Both charities have been invited by the DWP to help run Community Work Placements – the upcoming mass workfare scheme which involves a shocking 780 hours of unpaid work. As some more enlightened charities have stated these placements are not volunteering. Anyone who refuses one of these unpaid positions will face brutal benefit sanctions.
Groundwork receive huge amounts of tax payer’s money already from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG)* and the National Lottery. Unlike other organisations they have remained silent about their use of forced labour despite repeated criticism on social media. With the Government paying their bills, they are more like a workfare Quango than a real charity.
Both charities however do not just rely on the government funding to survive, but also the goodwill of genuine volunteers, community groups and partners. As part of the week of action, let’s make sure everyone knows about their dirty little workfare secrets.
Groundwork have local branches throughout the UK. To find contact details for the nearest visit: http://www.groundwork.org.uk/Page/map
Email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 01302 388 883
To find your local TCV office visit this website
But please note: Whilst it’s well worth trying to speak to a manager or senior individual if possible please bear in mind most people taking calls/emails will be low paid retail/admin staff and could even be on workfare themselves. Be aware that is an offence to make telephone calls or send communications which are threatening, indecent or offensive
For the latest news on the week of action against workfare visit: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=3436
*This article was amended on 5th April to correct this sentence, which mistakenly stated that Groundwork receive funding from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The correct Government department is the DCLG. Groundwork have received DEFRA funding in the past – despite a recent denial – and now say that the DCLG funding has stopped. This doesn’t mean that Groundwork are not a workfare quango: they receive huge sums of public money from the lottery and the DWP, and in their 2012/13 Annual Report said that:
It is recognised that, in the short term, the financial security of Groundwork is dependent on the organisation’s charitable aims demonstrating that they contribute to the priorities of central and local government. (pdf, p. 11).
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