PRESS RELEASE: Civic Voice reflects on 13 years of support as it celebrates its birthday

Civic Voice, the national charity for civic societies in England, celebrated its 13th anniversary on April 17th, 2023, by reflecting on the overwhelming support it has received from esteemed figures over the years.

Since its establishment, Civic Voice has been at the forefront of promoting civic pride, engagement, and community involvement across England, and has received recognition and appreciation from various stakeholders.

One notable supporter of Civic Voice is the then HRH The Prince of Wales - now King Charles III - a long-time advocate of the civic movement. His continued support, including hosting delegations of civic societies at several events, underscores the significance of Civic Voice's work in promoting civic pride and community involvement. In a statement, HRH The Prince of Wales expressed his appreciation for the civic movement, stating, "Nowhere should be without its civic society, and no one should be without the voice you can provide."

Civic Voice has also been commended by past and current government officials for contributing to policy debates. Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State, thanked Civic Voice for contributing to the Planning White Paper work in September 2019. Chair of the DHLUC Select Committee, in 2022 Clive Betts MP, said we act a crucial conduit between Government and communities, while Greg Clark MP, planning minister in April 2012, also expressed his gratitude to Civic Voice for its informed input into the national planning policy debate.

Civic Day, an annual celebration of civic pride organised by Civic Voice, has also received high praise from prominent figures. Prime Minister Theresa May, in 2017, expressed her support for Civic Day, stating that it was "fantastic to see communities coming together and celebrating where they live." Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities in 2014, commended the participation in over 200 events across the country and congratulated all those who took part. John Bercow MP, the then Speaker of the House, recognised National Civic Days as an excellent opportunity for communities to come together and celebrate their localities in 2016.

Jake Berry MP, then High Streets Minister, echoed the sentiment in February 2019, highlighting the importance of Civic Day in revitalising high streets and reinventing them as vibrant community hubs. In March 2023, Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay also emphasised the critical role of Civic Voice in championing "place pride" and its importance within the levelling up agenda, and highlighted the organisation's efforts in advocating for civic societies.

In addition to the support from prominent Government figures, Civic Voice has also received recognition from the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Civic Societies, which was established to represent the civic society movement in Parliament and help move's voice heard. Over 100 different MPs have attended a meeting since it was first launched. Craig Mackinlay MP, the current chair of the APPG for Civic Societies, stated, "The APPG for Civic Societies is proud to support the important work of Civic Voice in promoting civic pride, engagement, and community involvement across England."

Griff Rhys Jones, President of Civic Voice, expressed his appreciation for the support Civic Voice has received, stating, "As President of Civic Voice, I am proud to see how far the organisation has come from the first event in 2010 in promoting the mission to promote place pride, engagement, and community involvement. The support from esteemed figures, including HRH The Prince of Wales, Prime Ministers and The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Civic Societies, is a testament to the important work that Civic Voice does in advocating for local communities and shaping the future of our towns and cities."

Ian Harvey, joint-founder of Civic Voice said: "I am immensely grateful to all those who have supported Civic Voice over the past 13 years. The contributions of esteemed figures and local communities alike have been invaluable in shaping Civic Voice into the influential organisation and movement that it is today. We remain committed to promoting place pride, engagement, and community involvement across England, but we ask that communities and others join Civic Voice. We need your support more than ever to ensure that the Government keeps its commitment to a 'pride in place' agenda."


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As Civic Voice celebrates its 13th birthday, it looks back with pride and appreciation at the support it has received from various stakeholders, including HRH The Prince of Wales, government officials, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Civic Societies, and many others. With a continued dedication to its mission, Civic Voice remains committed to promoting civic engagement and shaping communities for a better future.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Civic Societies (APPG for Civic Societies) is a cross-party group of MPs and peers dedicated to promoting civic societies' roles in local communities and supporting their work in promoting civic pride, heritage preservation, and community engagement. This event is part of Civic Voice's ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the vital work done by civic organisations across the country.