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Charity Times - 11/02/2020

Posted by Claire Stradling

GOVERNMENT

Chancellor urged to use budget to help charity sector

The Chancellor has been urged by charity leaders to use the upcoming budget to increase funding to local government and provide details about the planned Shared Prosperity Fund. Infrastructure and representative bodies including ACEVO, the Charity Finance Group (CFG), Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales and NCVO have put forward four key proposals to the chancellor ahead of the budget on 11 March. “Charities are working in an increasingly tough environment, not least the severe pressures on local authority funding hitting the people and places facing disadvantage the hardest. The ability of the sector to continue to help unlock the potential of all parts of the UK depends on providing them with the resources, and structures, to make it happen,” the letter says.  The first proposal is that the government increases funding for local authorities and reevaluate s their longer-term financial sustainability. Secondly, it asks for further details about the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, “including the time period over which the £500m earmarked for disadvantaged people is spread, and the consultation on how the programme will be designed and delivered”. The third suggestion is to create a community wealth fund using money from dormant assets. Finally, leaders called on the government to work with charities to implement the recommendations of the independent Charity Tax Commission. 

Civil Society  Third Sector

New body would measures charities’ impact

A Parliamentary Bill has been introduced by Conservative MP Simon Fell that would see the creation of a new government agency that would help measure the impact of charities and enable them to secure more funding. The third sector organisations (impact and support) Bill was one of 20 private members’ bills to have their first readings on 5 February. Mr Fell said: “They [charities] do huge amounts of good for our community, but often live hand-to-mouth, struggling from one funding application to the next.” His plan is to create a new body to measure the impact of charities’ services and curate a central hub of information and case studies. If successful, he said there would be “an accredited team of officials from across government who will be able to drop in and measure the impact of the work that organisations like these do, so that future funding is easier to secure”. This means that charities would have a &ldqu o;clear and demonstrable link between previous funding, delivery and impact of services offered”. They would also be able to learn from each other and be better placed to bid for government funding.

Civil Society  Third Sector  Cumbria Crack

GOVERNANCE

Oxfam retains Pakistan head

Oxfam has reportedly retained its country head in Pakistan, Mohammad Qazilbash, who has eleven cases filed against him of bullying and harassment. In early 2019, an inquiry into the accusations found the allegations levelled against him by office staff to be substantial. The Daily Times reports that following the inquiry, Oxfam’s International office asked Qazilbash to step down. He was required to stay until September 2019 until his replacement was appointed. However, it is understood that he continues to remain in the role. The cases reported against him to the head office ranged from harassment, bullying of subordinate, insulting attitude and violations of international guidelines.   

Daily Times

WorldSkills UK announces new appointment to Board of Trustees

Education and skills charity WorldSkills UK has announced that Brian Doran, Principal and Chief Executive of Southern Regional College, with campuses in counties Armagh and Down in Northern Ireland, has joined its Board of Trustees. Mr Doran’s appointment comes as Marie-Thérèse McGivern, who is due to retire from her role as Principal and Chief Executive of Belfast Metropolitan College in March this year, steps down as a WorldSkills UK trustee.

FE News

FUNDRAISING

Nearly 1,800 charities have paid the Fundraising Regulator’s levy so far this year

Some 1,795 charities have paid the Fundraising Regulator’s voluntary levy in its fourth year, according to the organisation’s chief executive Gerald Oppenheim. Speaking at Civil Society Media’s Fundraising Live event last week, he said there are just under 1,900 charities that spend at least £100,000 a year on fundraising and are covered by the levy, leaving about 80 charities that the regulator needs to work with. Mr Oppenheim also said that 1,932 small charities that have fundraising costs under £100,000 are now registered with the regulator, together with 128 commercial organisations that do not have charitable status.

Civil Society News

Barings converts dedicated charity fund to CAIF

Barings has converted its dedicated charity fund, the Barings Targeted Return Fund, a daily dealing fund with a minimum investment of £10,000, to a Charity Authorised Investment Fund (CAIF). The new CAIF structure will bring cost benefits to clients by allowing for VAT to be waived on the management fee, while the Fund’s Annual Management Charge has been reduced from 0.5% to 0.4%. As both an investment fund and registered charity, the move to the CAIF structure means the fund will now comply with both FCA and Charity Commission regulations.

UK Fundraising

Thousands of pounds invested into Burnley charities and community groups

Nearly £30,000 has been awarded to 11 charities and community groups across the Burnley area to fund vital projects making a significant impact on people’s lives. The Christal Foundation, which is managed by the Community Foundation for Lancashire, has been established as a permanent charitable endowment fund with its proceeds used to support local grassroots charities in Burnley. Charities awarded money in the latest round include 5 Ways Boxing CIC, and the Pennine Lancashire Community Farm.

Charity Today

FINANCE

Funding crisis charity to stay open

A cancer charity that said it would close unless it raised £600,000 by the end of January will remain open despite raising less than half of its target. Wessex Cancer Trust, which helps cancer patients in Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, said demand was growing but income had reduced dramatically. A "last resort" crisis appeal launched in December has raised £290,000. The charity said it remained in a "delicate situation" and was working to raise the additional £300,000. Five shops remain in Portchester, Hythe, Chandler's Ford, Freshwater and Weeke. The number of support centres has also been reduced from six to four. The trust, which normally expects to help about 11,000 people a year, previously said a 30% increase in demand in 2019 along with a 65% reduction in bequests and a 15% drop in shop sales had tipped it into a crisis situation.

BBC News

REGULATION

NRA breached rules by promoting civilian ‘recreational shooting’

The Charity Commission says that the National Rifle Association (NRA) acted outside its charitable objects, by promoting civilian recreational shooting competitions at Bisley, among other activities. Although gun clubs are allowed to register as charities, training civilians to shoot is not considered to be a public benefit. Trustees at the NRA, which had an income of over £6m last year, have been issued with a formal action plan under section 15(2) of the Charities Act. It was also found that the relationship between the NRA and its trading subsidiary the National Shooting Centre, was not defined enough to make them separate. While a charity can generate funds through a trading subsidiary, the commission found that it was not clear how the two organisations were separate and independent, due to the overlapping activities.

Third Force News  Civil Society News

RSH identifies finds “serious regulatory concern” in provider

The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) has found New Roots Limited, a not-for-profit registered provider with 1,782 supported housing units, non-compliant on both governance and viability, citing “issues of serious regulatory concern”. New Roots Limited was first placed on RSH’s Gradings-under-review list in November last year. According to reports, the model operated by New Roots means that, whilst it has landlord responsibility for its tenants, it enters into short-term leasing arrangements with a number of third parties for properties. These third parties then also deliver the landlord and management services on New Roots’ behalf under an agreement. Following an investigation, the RSH found: significant weaknesses in New Root’s business planning framework; inadequate risk management processes and internal controls; that the board have failed to manage their affairs with an appropriate degree of skill, independence, diligence, effectiveness, prudence and foresight; and lack of assurance over probity arrangements and relationships with third party contractors.

Inside Housing

DfE orders school closure

The Department for Education has ordered the closure of a the controversial Birmingham Muslim School. An investigation into its owners, Albayan Education Foundation Ltd, is still under way by the Charity Commission, connected to an unreported "serious incident" relating to the lSmall Heath school. The school's head, Janet Laws, also known as Aisha Abdrabba, had previously been subject to an interim prohibition order banning her from teaching because she was deemed "a potential risk to pupils" - though we understand the ban, imposed in February last year, was lifted in the autumn.

Birmingham Mail  Daily Mail

TECHNOLOGY

Lessons to learn from Teenage Cancer Trust’s digital transformation

The Teenage Cancer Trust has used the youth and digital literacy of its service users to drive its digital transformation to ensure that its voice can be heard across the country, writes Chrissy Chiu, who examines what lessons other charities can learn from its efforts. The charity’s digital strategy is holistic and powerful, she notes, making the best use of public and private partnerships, user stories, and regular, relevant content. Social media platforms are an especially important element, allowing fundraisers to maximise their reach, and even leverage the reach and influence of major celebrities.

Charity Digital News

CAMPAIGNS

Calls for CVs to exclude schools, grades and names

The chairman of charity Social Mobility Foundation (SMF), Alan Milburn, has said that CVs should no longer contain job applicants’ names, grades, schools or universities, as they are a “barrier to opportunity”. SMF has partnered with professional services firm PwC to launch the Department for Opportunities with the “CVs Aren’t Working” campaign, calling on employers to overhaul their “outdated” recruitment processes. However, Campaign for Real Education chairman Chris McGovern has said the move equates to “social engineering”.

The Daily Telegraph  Daily Mail

GambleAware launches new campaign

GambleAware has launched its new campaign which will focus upon raising awareness of treatment options available through the National Gambling Treatment Service. The campaign is set to feature across digital media platforms, radio, pubs, motorway service stations, in GP surgeries and health publications throughout February and March. The GambleAware campaign draws upon the experiences of those that have encountered problem gambling behaviours, and will primarily promote the idea that treatment is widely accessible. The campaign is also seeking to raise awareness of gambling treatment among primary care staff, allowing both GPs and practice nurses to direct those suffering from gambling towards the National Gambling Helpline.

LinkedIn

Charity shares free breakfasts and mental health advice

Charity Time to Change, backed by Southampton City Council and Portsmouth City Council, along with Solent Mind, took over mobile food vans and cafes in both cities to mark Time to Talk Day last Thursday, offering free breakfasts and encouraging men to open up about their mental health. Cllr David Shields, Cabinet Member for Healthier and Safer City at Southampton City Council, said: “Taking care of our mental health should be everyone's concern. Time to Talk Day is a great opportunity for friends, colleagues and family to sit down with a cuppa and have a chat, ask someone how they're doing and listen.”

Shaping Portsmouth

forum+ paves the way for LGBT rights

The charity forum+ is launching its largest line-up of events in London celebrating LGBT History Month across the country. forum+ supports victims of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crime, across Camden and Islington and in surrounding boroughs. Events include a selection of LGBT+ films at The British Museum on February 15 and a celebrate queer poetry night, Incite!, at the Phoenix Arts Club on February 17.

Camden New Journal

LEGAL

Ex-Yateley charity head Patrick McLarry jailed for fraud

Patrick McLarry, the former head of Yateley Industries for the Disabled, has been jailed for five years after he admitted defrauding a pension scheme of more than £250,000, using it to buy homes for himself and his wife, and to pay off a debt for a pub lease. In a statement read to Winchester Crown Court, the charity's chief executive Linda Matthews said it had been "days away from potential closure" because of the stolen funds, which had led to "immense stress and anxiety" for the charity's staff and users. Nicola Parish, the executive director of The Pensions Regulator, which brought the prosecution, said: “McLarry tried every trick in the book to hide his actions and squander the pension pots of those he was responsible for but we were able to uncover the truth and bring him to justice. We will now work to seize assets from McLarry so that as much of the money as possible is returned to its rightful owners, who will rightly re ly on it to deliver their pensions in retirement.” 

BBC News  The Guardian

Animal charity chief doctored minutes to get pay rise

A court has heard that the former chief executive of the Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals doctored the minutes from meetings to award himself pay rises with which he bought guns, Rolls-Royces and a £15,000 diamond ring. Stephen Coleman is said to have defrauded the charity out of more than £400,000.

The Times


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