£33m scheme aims to reduce inequality
An experimental £33m programme to tackle inequality is to take place at six English locations. Selected to take part in Local Access, which is a partnership between Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, and Big Society Capital, from a shortlist of 12, Bradford, Bristol, Gainsborough, Greater Manchester (Bolton, Oldham, Stockport and Wigan), Hartlepool, Redcar & Cleveland, and Southwark in London will now begin developing detailed funding and investment plans. Each will receive a mix of support, grant funding and repayable investment to grow their local charity and social enterprise sector as part of increasing prosperity and boosting the local economy, with the aim of reducing inequality. The six places will have access to funds totalling £33m, £25m of which will be to enable local charities and social enterprises to access loans and other investment products to help grow their enterprise activity.
Civil Society Fundraising
Funding for youth-led social action programmes
A £9m funding post is to be made available to youth-led social action programmes across the UK thanks to investments into the #iwill Fund. The #iwill campaign is co-ordinated by the charity Step Up To Serve, their vision is to make involvement in social action the norm for 20-year olds across the UK. The £9m has come from The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the National Lottery Community Fund, and 25 private funders who have matched the investment. The #iwill campaign launched in 2016, and since then it is estimated that over 500,000 people have taken part in social action opportunities. Helen Whyman, Head of #iwill at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “At The National Lottery Community Fund, we are delighted to continue investing in the #iwill Fund, enabling them to increase the partnerships that we have built to embed youth social action across England. Through the partnerships within the #iwill Fund, we see young people taking the lead in their communities, helping them to thrive.”
Contactless payment smart poster to benefit homeless
In what is a first for British high streets, a branch of Nationwide in Bath has installed a "smart window poster" which allows contactless donations to be made to the homeless. Each tap makes a payment of £3 to a local charity which provides shelter and food to homeless people in the area. The Good Start Tap to Donate scheme is managed by local homeless charity Julian House and developed with Nationwide Building Society and Bath Business Improvement District.
The Challenge owed £8m
Documents filed with Companies House show that The Challenge owes £7.9m to unsecured creditors and almost £1.3m in redundancy payments. The Challenge went into administration last year after losing its contract with the NCS Trust to deliver the youth social action programme the National Citizen Service. In the two years to 31 December 2018 the charity received contract income from the NCS Trust of £73.6m – this represented 95% of the charity's total income for that period. The administrator reports that in 2015, the NCS Trust required providers to migrate onto its own CRM system. It gave The Challenge an exemption from 2015-2018, but in 2018 it retracted this exemption. Difficulties associated with the system migration then “gave rise to a breakdown in relations between the company [charity] and the NCS Trust”. In March 2019, The Challenge was provisionally awarded future NCS Trust contracts for 2020-23 with the possibility of a two-year extension. This contract was withdrawn in July 2019.
Civil Society News
Bristol housing outfit guilty of mismanagement
The Charity Commission has found trustees at Bristol housing charity Alternative Housing guilty of mismanagement and misconduct, suggesting that they exploited their charitable status for financial gain. The commission opened its near three-year inquiry in 2017 after the charity was dubbed the “most prosecuted landlord in the UK” by a national media report that found it had been convicted of six breaches of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations in two years. The Commission also found that the charity had failed to file its accounts and its report established direct and indirect links between the charity’s trustees and the directors of companies to which the charity had paid significant amounts of charitable funds. The charity has now been removed from the register by the regulator.
NCVO seeking new chair of trustees
The NCVO has begun the search for a new chair for its trustee board. The next chair, who will take up the post in November 2020, will join the organisation as it concludes a lengthy strategic review process. The charity representative body said today the new chair would be instrumental in defining how NCVO’s core purpose, values and ambitions will be translated into tangible action. The open application process will be led by NCVO’s president, Jill Pitkeathley, and is being managed by executive search consultancy firm Green Park. The deadline for applications is Monday 16 March 2019.
National Lottery Community Fund names Interim Chair
Tony Burton CBE, currently the vice chair of the National Lottery Community Fund, has been appointed as its Interim Chair. He has over 30 years’ experience on the Executive Boards of national charities, including the National Trust, Campaign to Protect Rural England and Design Council and was awarded the CBE in the Jubilee Honours for services to planning, local government and community. This role is remunerated at £40,000.
Grants to boost physical activity
Grants totalling £7.8m are being made available by the London Marathon Trust for projects that inspire activity and enable people to become and remain physically active regardless of age, gender, ability, race or background. The funding is split across the London Marathon Trust’s two grant programmes: £5.2m is available through the Facilities Grants Programme to fund the building, renovation or modernisation of facilities in London and Surrey, where the charity’s trading subsidiary London Marathon Events operates. Small Grants and Major Grants are available from this programme, and the thresholds have recently increased: small grants are now £5,000-£50,000, increased from £5,000-£20,000 and major grants are now £50,001-£250,000, increased from £20,001-£150,000
MHCLG won’t extend HMO licencing rules to charitable providers
Despite such restrictions hampering the work of charitable housing providers, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has indicated that exemptions already available to registered providers will not be extended to HMO licencing rules for charitable housing providers as it could “remove important protections for tenants”. While the development of future shared-housing projects are being stalled and may be refused by local planning authorities, recent years have also seen an increase in the use of Article 4 Directions and local selective licencing on three-bedroom houses in local authority areas - meaning shared-housing projects in some areas have become impossible to run despite their vital role in communities. Ashley Horsey, chief executive at Commonweal Housing, which supports several charitable housing schemes, comments: “Charitable housing providers often take press ure off pressed public services by housing some of the most vulnerable members of society in innovative and specialist ways. We need to find a way to keep these vital projects from being crushed by a blunt instrument, or risk storing up problems for the future.”
The Entertainer backs Children’s Mental Health Week
UK high street toy retailer The Entertainer is partnering with YoungMinds throughout February in support of Children’s Mental Health Week, which has been taking place since February 2. The Entertainer 172 stores nationwide are making every Saturday a Day of Play, championing the importance of play in children for a happy, healthy mind and emotional wellbeing. Nick Harrop, head of media and influencing at YoungMinds, comments: “The Entertainer’s Big Create is the ideal way to bring people together to increase awareness of children’s mental health issues.”
ChangeStar Charity Calendar 2020 open for entries
ChangeStar is inviting charities to submit events to the ChangeStar Charity Calendar list of fundraising and awareness events for 2020. The ChangeStar Charity Calendar features over 100 events and provides a free way for charities to promote their events online to the public and some of the best-known fundraising events in the UK are listed, including the London Marathon, The Great North Run and Macmillan Cancer Support’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.
Antibiotic Research UK receives £10,000 donation
Antibiotic Research UK has been awarded £10,000 by the Pavers Foundation, an employee-led charitable trust founded by shoe retailer Pavers. Antibiotic Research UK is the first UK charity to be created to tackle superbugs. It raises funds to develop new antibiotic therapies, to raise awareness amongst the public and professionals, and to support patients and their families with antibiotic resistant infections. Since founding, Antibiotic Research UK has raised approximately £1.5m to fund its work
Charity loses almost £1m in domain name scam
Red Kite Community Housing has fallen victim to a cyber-scam whereby criminals posed as genuine service providers to steal £932,000. The charity described how criminals not only spoofed the domain of a genuine contractor but also sent emails to Red Kite that appeared to be from contacts who had already won the charity's trust.
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