Committee (5th Day)

Part of Health and Social Care Bill – in the House of Lords at 3:30 pm on 14th November 2011.

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Photo of The Bishop of Chester The Bishop of Chester Bishop 3:30 pm, 14th November 2011

I am very grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Barker, for what she just said about the complexity of the question. However, I would like to go back to what the noble Baroness, Lady Pitkeathley, said about what charities do well. Particularly important is their face-to-face concern with the whole needs of whole persons rather than the abstract application of principles. I would add two things that some charities offer that intersect with other bits of our social agenda at the moment. One is the passion of those volunteers who work particularly for local, small charities. A lot of energy is sapped by precisely the issue that we are discussing this afternoon. If we are concerned for what might be called in the most general way the big society, how you engage people in maximum participation at a local level in concerns and charities-particularly small ones, which are very close to the action-is extraordinarily important, it seems to me. Passion and localism are two aspects of this that must not be forgotten.