Addressing the issue of bullying and harassment in the VCSE sector

We were disturbed to hear the reports about overt oppression and widespread and discriminatory bullying which has taken place at NCVO.

Disturbed, but not surprised.

Accounts of people that have experienced various forms of discriminatory bullying and harassment whilst working in the VCSE sector have been in the public sphere for long enough that recent news should not surprise any of us who are listening. As many on social media are pointing out, it’s #NotJustNCVO. This is structural across the sector, and society.

VONNE is currently managing a partnership project which aims to normalise conversations around safeguarding, provide direct training to VCSE organisations, and promote a suite of safeguarding resources developed by national partners and housed on the NCVO website.

We will continue to signpost to these resources. VONNE’s priority is supporting the VCSE sector and the resources have merit. The news about NCVO serves to highlight how pervasive organisational culture is, whether positive or negative, and that’s why we need to call out bad practice, be aware of good practice and strive to continually improve.

No organisation is immune from taking responsibility for safeguarding failures and learning from them.

We also have a responsibility to be part of the solution.

VONNE is currently reviewing our own practices and systems to understand better where we can help dismantle discriminatory power dynamics and we will be talking more about this work in the next few weeks.

Support available