Frequently Asked Questions
Q.1 What is the Centre for Welfare Reform?
The Centre for Welfare Reform was established in 2009 as an independent think tank working globally, based in Sheffield, UK. We have over 100 Fellows who share an emancipatory vision of citizenship: everyone is equal, everyone is different and together we must create inclusive communities.
We are a citizen think tank. This means we believe everyone can make a difference, everyone can have good ideas and together we can turn those ideas into reality. We are opposed to the current system, where policy is driven by special interests, shallow ideologies and a desire for personal advancement.
A good society must be defined by those who truly understand what disadvantage and exclusion means. Good practice must meet the real-world challenges of meaningful implementation and sustainability with integrity. Good policy must be open, democratic and accessible to all.
Q.2 What does the Centre for Welfare Reform do?
The Centre works in four areas:
- Ideas - we share new ideas and publish independent research
- Change - we help communities, organisations and governments
- Organisation - we create new groups, organisations and campaigns
- Network - we connect people and organisations for cooperative action
Q.3 How does the Centre for Welfare Reform work?
The Centre is unusual because we try and do everything we can to make things free or at the lowest possible cost.
- We publish information for free
- Our Fellows share their learning for free
- We give advice and create solutions for free
- Any charges we do make are lower than similar organisations
The Centre exists to help create a better world for everyone - not to make a profit.
Q.4 What has the Centre for Welfare Reform achieved?
Since 2009 we have continued to offer a radical and informed counterpoint to the dominant social policies of the last decade and beyond: austerity, harmful welfare ‘reforms’ and the centralisation of power.
Ideas - We have a powerful online library to support a radical vision of social justice with: 1,200 articles, 6,000 visitors per month, over 2,000 subscribers to our newsletter and a strong social media presence. We have published 5 books and over 100 major reports, including:
A Fair Start (2010) Personalisation in Mental Health (2010) Personalised Transition (2010) Positively Local (2011) Women at the Centre (2011) Dying with Dignity (2011) Peer Power (2012) Local Area Coordination (2013) Whose Community Is It Anyway? (2013) No Going Back (2013) The Unmaking of Man (2013) Counting the Cuts (2014) Who Cares? (2015) Citizenship and the Welfare State (2016) Love and Welfare (2016) Heading Upstream (2017) Cumulative Impact Assessment (2018) UBI and Health (2018) Second Class Citizens (2019) Know Your Place (2019) Stories of Our Lives (2019) Basic Income Plus (2020) Closer to Home (2020) Energy Impairment and Disability Inclusion (2020)
Change - Our Fellows lead national and global work on a range of social innovations:
Basic Income | Local Area Coordination | Self-Directed Support | Individual Service Funds | Peer Support | Women-Centred Solutions | Personalised Support | Inclusive Education | Self Advocacy | Quality Checking | Deinstitutionalisation | Community Social Work | Person Centred Planning | Support Brokerage | Supported Employment | Family Leadership | People Based Development | Constitutional Reform | Neighbourhood Democracy
Organisation - We’ve helped create a range of new organisations including:
The Hub Yeovil (2010) People Focused Group Doncaster (2011) Campaign for a Fair Society (2011) iDirect (2014) Learning Disability Alliance (2014) Learning Disability England (2016) Chronic Illness Inclusion Project (2017) UBI Lab Sheffield (2018) We Are One: CitizenFest (2019) UBI Lab Disability (2020) Neighbourhood Democracy Movement (2020)
Network - We are founding members of several networks including:
- Citizen Network (2016) - working to advance citizenship for all, present in 39 countries
- UBI Lab Network (2019) - working to advance basic income, with 35 labs now across the globe
- Movement for Neighbourhood Democracy (2020) - for communities wanting grassroots democracy
In 2020 we also established Citizen Network Coop as a registered non-profit coop in Helsinki, Finland and the Centre, alongside other partners, is growing Citizen Network as global cooperative community to advance citizenship for all.
Q.5 How is the Centre organised?
The Centre is a non-profit-making social enterprise. The company is registered as a private limited company and there is a Board made up of Fellows leading different projects.
Q.6 How is the Centre for Welfare Reform funded?
Since the creation of the Centre in 2009 our annual funding has varied from year to year, around an average of £75,000. Our accounts are lodged with Companies House and you can check out our accounts there. Here is a list of all our funders who have contributed £5,000 or more:
- Avivo (Australia)
- ACH (Australia)
- Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
- Cameron Trust (not the ex-Prime Minister)
- Choice Support
- Citizen Network Australia
- Erasmus+ (European Union)
- IRISS (Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services)
- Joint Improvement Partnership
- KVPS (Finland)
- Lankelly Chase Foundation
- Local Government Yorkshire & Humber
- Local Trust
- National Lottery (DRILL)
- NHS England
- NHS Plymouth
- NHS Sheffield
- NZDSN (New Zealand Disability Support Network)
- Paradigm Consulting
- Partners for Inclusion
- Plena Inclusíon
- PFG Doncaster
- Sheffield City Council
- South Australian Government
- TLAP (Think Local Act Personal)
- Yorkshire & Humber Improvement Partnership
We are currently exploring new funding opportunities with foundations and funders and really value any private donations.