This paper has its origins in a series of discussions that took place at Ditchley Park in September 2006. It develops the themes from that event and describes a role for the voluntary sector which is both creative and challenging. A sector which is actively engaged in place-shaping is one that is well connected, speaks with an authentic voice and engages with service delivery, while not being constrained by it.
A strong voluntary and community sector can contribute to creative place-shaping, helping to create neighbourhoods in which people wish to stay. This paper offers a challenge to all those who are engaged in the development of place.