Charities asked what research is needed in sector
A consultation has been launched to find the sector’s priorities for research topics. Sir Stephen Bubb of Charity Futures, the programme to improve charity governance and leadership, said: “Too often research in the charity sector is not focused on what matters to charities and donors . . . . High quality, relevant, future-looking research has a big part to play in making the sector stronger, and our consultation will give donors and charities a unique chance to shape the research agenda in support of their work." Caroline Fiennes, director of Giving Evidence, the consultancy which is managing the study, said: “We shall be using a rigorous research design, based on the model created by the James Lind Alliance for prioritizing research topics in medicine."
New Commission chair wants trust rebuilt
New Charity Commission chair Baroness Stowell has told attendees at the NCVO Annual Conference 2018 that the regulator will set out a new strategy this year that is intended to "rebuild trust in charities." She said people now trust charities “no more than they trust the average stranger they meet on the street” and members of the public always said they want transparency from the sector. Baroness Stowell also indicated that a consultation on charging charities for regulation would wait until after this strategy was developed.
Civil Society Third Force News
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home rebrands
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has partnered with design firm Pentagram to rebrand as ‘Battersea’, with a new logo and a new tagline to better reflect the charity's objectives. Pentagram said the rebrand seeks to “visualise the charity’s commitment to unconditionally care for all the animals that come through its doors,” noting that the word ‘Home’ was dropped because it could wrongly “infer a permanent dwelling for Battersea’s animals” and “could be understood to mean one location, despite Battersea operating across three sites.”
Beneficiaries fearful of 'hospice'
A Wolverhampton-based care providing charity is removing the word “hospice” from its name after discovering it was putting off potential beneficiaries. Compton Hospice will now be known as Compton Care after its research found people were fearful of accessing its services. CEO Claire Marshall said: “Our research with patients, families and supporters highlighted key challenges . . . namely fear about who we are and what being referred to us means."
Warning over chief executive fraud
The Charity Commission is warning the sector to be aware of so-called chief executive fraud, where an organisation receives an email from a criminal who claims to be the boss of another firm and asks for funds to be transferred. Charities are advised to review internal processes around transactions, to question details and warn workers and volunteers to be wary of unusual emails.
Regulator publishes Charities Act reporting guidance
The Fundraising Regulator has published guidance for fundraising charities on new requirements on compliance with the reporting and fundraising agreements in the Charities Act 2016. The regulator highlighted sections 13 and 14 of the amended Charities Act 2016; section 13 of the amended act in particular “will have the most immediate impact on fundraising” and came into force on November 2016. Gerald Oppenheim, incoming chief executive of the Fundraising Regulator, said: “The Charities Act 2016 brings fundraising to the forefront by increasing the amount of information charities need to provide on their fundraising operation, including whether or not they have committed to the standards within the Code. This continues to be a vital part of charity compliance.”
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Harrods opens pop-up shop
Harrods has opened a temporary charity shop in London, stocking labels including Paul Smith, Louis Vuitton and Gucci. Harrods said the pop-up shop, which is being run with the NSPCC, could be made permanent if successful.
Charities mustn't exploit workers, says NCVO boss
NCVO chief executive Sir Stuart Etherington has said charities must not “exploit” workers on low wages. Speaking at the organisation’s annual conference, Sir Stuart said the problem of low pay was greatest among charities delivering government contracts. “Our fantastic social care charities are struggling to pay the real living wage under the current contracting regime . . . So we should also be asking questions about low pay and how we ensure that employees are not exploited in the name of charity,” he said. He also told conference attendees that a culture of volunteering in the UK needed to be encouraged, and that he was disappointed to see the government drop a proposal to give employees time off to volunteer. Separately, former NSPCC chief executive Dame Mary Marsh is to lead on the development of a sector code of conduct on behalf of NCVO to build safeguarding knowledge and capacity a cross th e voluntary sector.
Civil Society Third Sector
Mind rejects bullying charge
Mental health charity Mind has said it rejects claims that it has a culture of bullying, but admitted it needs to improve its workplace support for employees with mental health difficulties. Mind Cymru has commenced an investigation after one former staffer described working there as being in a "warzone." Andrew Jones, who worked at the charity’s headquarters in Riverside, Cardiff, told BBC: "They will be picking you up on minor matters, unsettling you, isolating you from your colleagues . . . you’re constantly watching your back and, of course, the effect of that is really debilitating mentally and physically."
Third Sector BBC News
Volunteers threatened and abused
The South Wales Guardian reports on two friends who endured a night of abuse during a charity sleepout for homeless people. Carl Watkins and Ashley Morris, co-founder of the Helping our Homeless charity, spent 24 hours on the streets of Cardiff with no money - and had water bottles kicked at them, were the centre of a brawl and told they would be set on fire. “We had to endure this for 24 hours. The genuine homeless have this 24/7," said Mr Morris.
South Wales Guardian
Probation plans fail to materialise
The chief inspector of probation has warned that government plans to boost the role of charities and volunteers in the probation service have failed to materialise. Dame Glenys Stacey described the low involvement of non-profits, charities and voluntary groups in the rehabilitation and supervision of ex-offenders as "an exasperating situation".
YST: Changes required to combat negative experiences of PE
A charity claims “negative experiences” of children’s and youth sport, low self-image, academic pressures and lack of encouragement mean children are turning away from organised games. The Youth Sport Trust is recommending a number of changes to school PE lessons, including using softer balls and allowing pupils to make up rules which promote "safety, fairness or inclusion". Teachers should also ensure "failures are celebrated as trials that create opportunities for constructive feedback”. YST also called for focus on improving girls' experiences.
Loneliness more likely to affect young people
Young adults are more likely to feel lonely than older age groups, says a study from the Office for National Statistics. The research found that almost 10% of people aged 16 to 24 were "always or often" lonely - the highest proportion of any age group. Cal Strode, of the Mental Health Foundation, said loneliness among young people could be driven by social media and the "digital world". "Teens can have thousands of friends online and yet feel unsupported and isolated," he said. Responding to the findings, charities called for councils to invest in more activities to bring young people together, noting how they are spending £206m less on youth services than three years ago.
Drop in homeless shelter beds recorded
Research by the charity Homeless Link indicates the number of beds in shelters for single homeless people has fallen by almost a fifth since 2010. Over the same period the number of people sleeping rough has risen by 169%, while the figure for people being declared homeless by local councils is up 48%. In addition to funding cuts and welfare reform, the charity blamed a lack of low cost and appropriate housing.
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