United Kingdom - Organizations

A vast number of organizations in the United Kingdom carry on programs in every phase of human activity. Voluntary social service organizations number in the thousands. Social work on a national scale is carried out under religious sponsorship. Cooperation between Protestant churches is fostered by the British Council of Churches. The Council of Christians and Jews works for cooperation between these faiths. The principal coordinating body in general social service is the National Council of Social Service.

Voluntary organizations are active in adult education. The British Council promotes a wider knowledge of the United Kingdom and its people abroad and develops cultural relations with other countries. There are more than 300 learned societies. The Arts Council of Great Britain (founded in 1946) promotes the fine arts and higher artistic standards, and advises government bodies on artistic matters. The Royal Academy and the Royal Scottish Academy are other leading bodies in the arts. The National Book League, the Royal Society of Literature, the British Academy, the English Association, the Bibliographical Society, and other groups foster interest in literature, language, and scholarship. The Arts Council of Wales was established in 1967. Arts and Cultural organizations in Scotland include the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama; the Royal Scottish Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture; the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society; the Scottish Arts Council; and the Scottish Games Association. Clan associations are also popular in Scotland, with many providing genealogical research and social events and contact.

The National Council for Voluntary Youth Services includes most of the largest youth groups. The leading political parties, major religious denominations, and some adult voluntary organizations, such as the Red Cross, maintain youth organizations. There is also a Scouts Association and a Girl Guides Association. There are numerous sports associations for participants of all ages.

The national body representing British industry is the Confederation of British Industry, incorporated in 1965 and directly or indirectly representing about 250,000 companies. The Association of British Chambers of Commerce (founded in 1860) has 240 affiliated UK chambers. Agricultural organizations include the National Farmers' Union, agricultural cooperative societies, and other specialized associations.

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