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Claire Stradling

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Claire Stradling

Associate Director - Charities and NFP

I head up our charity and not for profit division specialising in Finance and HR appointments. I manage a team as well as recruiting for senior level Finance Director, HRD, and CFO roles myself both on a contingency and a retained basis.

I have a large network of clients within the charity sector including NGOs, large international and national charities through to smaller charities and not for profit organisations.

I have over 25 years in recruitment experience and still love the industry. Having a keen interest in charities and charitable causes myself, the move to recruiting for the sector was a natural progression. I have been lucky enough to win many awards throughout my career for my performance which is because I believe I really listen to both our Clients and Candidates and really try to understand both’s unique requirements prior to matching.

Being born and bred in Birmingham, I am a massive Aston Villa fan and try and watch as many games as possible either live or on the TV. I am also a big music fan and go to lots of Gigs. I love a good book and spending time eating and enjoying wine with friends.

claire's latest roles

  • Finance Officer - Programmes

    £33000 - £40000 per annum

    Finance Officer - Programmes London Have you worked for an international charity/NGO in a finance role? Have you supported regional programmes? Have your donor reporting experience? - USAID, DFID, EU etc? If...

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  • HR Advisor

    £200 - £250 per day

    HR Advisor London ASAP until end of the year c£250 a day A large national charity is seeking a HR Advisor to work closely with Line Managers across the UK. This is a generalist role but with a strong emphasi...

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What people say about Claire

Claire at Pro Group is a star! Her professionalism and reliability is clearly without parallel . . . I found her recruitment skills to be of a high calibre, and her approach was very refreshing and personal and it made me feel confident in her ability to place me in suitable role...


Firstly thank you so much for being one of the best recruitment consultants, I have dealt with during my search, you are few and far between. Your professional approach with honest and responsive conversation, is exactly what a candidate like...


Claire recently supported me in my quest in finding a new senior HR role. Throughout the experience she was proactive, listened to feedback and worked positively with both her client and myself to discuss, if a role was truly right for me as a person...


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Companies Claire has worked with

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Parkinson's UK is a charity who empower and support thousands of people living with the condition, inspire health and social care professionals to help drive better care and steer ground-breaking research to improve treatments and to find a cure.

In October 2018 likeminded housing associations Metropolitan and Thames Valley Housing formally completed a partnership to form Metropolitan Thames Valley. Metropolitan Thames Valley provides housing at different levels of affordability for people living in London, the South East, East Midlands and East of England.

Travelzoo is a global media company with over 25 million members across 26 offices worldwide. They publish travel entertainment deals all over the world and have 500+ employees globally.

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claire's articles

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My New Routine - Working From Home

Posted by Claire Stradling

COVID-19 has temporarily changed our working lives and routines. Most of us left the office a little less than two weeks ago and moved our workplace to our own homes ready to start at 8am the next morning. And with very little disruption thanks to the digital world we live in now. And in less than two weeks we have all had to learn a whole new vocabulary and world with terms such as “self isolation”, “social distancing“ and “the curve”. As well as having to change our normal days beyond recognition, both in and out of work mode. Life is clearly very very different right now to how it has ever been before. I used to work from home a couple of times a month and found it great to be able to get my head down, inspect my division, and think about our strategy without interruptions. However, some people love working from home. I am not one of those people... Recruitment is a social job. We meet a wide range of clients and candidates and try and match them together. It’s also a tough job at times. When you need the support of those around you to get you the tough times... I love the buzz of the office and the energy of those around me. And I miss it, a lot. Here is how I'm changing my working routine to adjust to working from home: 1. I keep the tv/radio on quietly in the background. Not loud enough to distract me, but loud enough not to be lost in silence when I am not talking on the phone or interviewing online. It’s clearly not the same as working with over 50 friends and colleagues but it does help me. 2. To keep our strong team spirit, I build in regular phone and video calls with my colleagues throughout the day. Just to share news and check in with how we are all feeling. We also do this to try to have some fun, recreate the buzz of the office, and encourage normal social interactions. I have a virtual lunch with my teams at least a few times a week, and last week I joined a clients virtual pub quiz (sorry my general knowledge was so bad...). On a Friday, we have a team collective "cheers", where we all get a glass of wine or beer from the fridge at the same time, accompanied by a weekly update from our MD. It’s a reminder that we are still a team - both the charities division I head up and the wider team at Pro. 3. I try and dress for the office. Whatever your normal dress code for the office, try to recreate at home. We have regular meetings online via Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and MSmeet with external clients and suppliers. And we still have an image to portray. Also, just by putting on my work clothes, it’s a clear sign to me and those around me that I am at work. It just changes my mindset to a work one and helps my productivity throughout the working day. 4. Have tea/coffee breaks, go out for your exercise once a day, and take regular breaks from your laptop throughout the day. It sounds obvious, but taking lunch away from my workstation really helps me, as well as having set clear times when I work, and when it’s "my" time. I focus on the day-to-day only. None of us can be sure about what other changes will be happening in a weeks time, a months time, or 6 months time. So, I try and focus on what I can control right now by setting myself daily targets, rather than worrying about what is going to happen next week or next month. 5. My only C-19 news is Boris's evening updates! It’s a routine and whilst I want to know what the latest news is, I don’t want to be consumed by it throughout the day. So Boris is my daily update on COVID-19, and I try not to read or listen to anything else about it during the day or evening. Life is so different and scary at the moment, so I try and keep myself up to date with what I need to know without it consuming my whole day and life. Who knows how long this is going to go on for? When the peak will be reached? And if the world of work will ever go back to how it was before this? But most of us will still have our health. And most of us will have adapted very quickly and in our own unique ways, just showing how resilient and strong we all really are. When we come through this, life will be very different for a long time in many ways. I still feel a little shell shocked, I must admit. But, we have seen both the worst and best of human behaviour in the last few weeks - mostly the best. And that also keeps me going. Stay safe all. For help with your recruiting needs or more advice on working from home, please contact Claire Stradling on 020 7269 6351 or claire.stradling@pro-recruitment.co.uk.

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Charity Times - 17/03/2020

Posted by Claire Stradling

FUNDRAISING Funders pledge support during coronavirus emergency An alliance of more than 30 grant makers have signed a joint statement pledging to support charities during the coronavirus emergency. The alliance has declared the pandemic to be an "exceptional event" that will "almost certainly affect charity staffing" and will necessitate extra support for beneficiaries. The funders said they will commit to 'four main ways of working' in support of charities during the outbreak. These are: adapting activities (acknowledging that agreed outcomes may not be achieved in set time-frames); discussing dates (not pressing organisations to meet tight reporting deadlines); financial flexibility (allowing organisations to use money differently); and listening (encouraging discourse between funders and grantees). A statement from the funders says: “We wish to be as helpful as possible during the coming weeks and months so that civil society groups can focus on the vital work of supporting some of the most vul nerable people in our communities. We understand that there will be times when staff and volunteers will not be available, when beneficiaries may need services to be provided in different ways, or when systems need to be flexible to ensure that needs are met.” Meanwhile, the Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF) has published a blog on what foundations need to be considering in the face of the threat, observing that one such area is “impact on the causes that foundations support.” Charity Times, UKFundraising, Civil Society London Marathon postponed until October The London Marathon has been postponed and rescheduled for October 4th because of the coronavirus outbreak. The event was scheduled to take place on April 26th. It is the first time the race has been postponed since its launch in 1981. "The world is in an unprecedented situation, grappling with a global pandemic of COVID-19, and public health is everyone's priority," said event director Hugh Brasher. Last year, the event raised a record-breaking £66.4m for charity - a new world record for an annual single-day charity fundraising. Brasher went on to say: “We know that there will be many, many questions from runners, charities and others and we ask you to please bear with us as we work through the detailed planning process to deliver the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon on its new scheduled date." Civil Society, Charity Times, BBC News A quarter of donors over 40 plan to leave a legacy A quarter of donors aged 40 and over plan to leave a legacy to charity or are preparing to do so, according to a survey of 1,000 adults commissioned by legacy consortium Remember A Charity. The share is a 6% increase compared to ten years ago. The poll also found that the number of people who are unaware of legacy giving has almost halved over the last decade, from 20% in 2010 to 11% last year. Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity, said: “We’re continuing to see growth in legacy giving over the long term . . . It’s clear that there’s a real appetite for supporters to do something meaningful for good causes at the end of their lives, and that charities are communicating legacies well; creatively and sensitively, demonstrating how important they are in funding vital services." Civil Society Panic-buying hits food banks Food banks are running out of staple foods as a result of shoppers panic-buying. Donations at branches of Sainsbury’s and Waitrose have fallen to a quarter of their usual amount at one London food bank. Meanwhile, Third Force News reports that Edinburgh Food Project says donation baskets have had to be moved closer to staff at some shops in the city after items previously given to the charity were removed. A statement from the project, which manages seven emergency food outlets as part of the Trussell Trust, said: “You may have noticed that our donation baskets have either been moved or removed in some supermarkets . . . Unfortunately this is due to items being taken from our baskets by shoppers. They are now in a place more visible to supermarket staff to be monitored. The Guardian, Daily Mail, Third Force News Tampon Tax Fund opens for applications Charities supporting women and girls are invited to apply for a share of the £15m funding pot being made available from the Tampon Tax Fund. The money is raised through VAT on women’s sanitary products. The tax will come to an end in January 2021. Charities can apply for grants to fund projects which directly benefit disadvantaged women and girls, tackle violence and support mental health and wellbeing. Third Force News GOVERNANCE Charity was ‘reckless’ with its money Former trustees of the charity ANO were responsible for misconduct and/or mismanagement in the administration of the organisation over a period of years, the Charity Commission has found. One former trustee has been disqualified. The charitable objects of ANO are to relieve suffering via financial provision and medical aid in Leicestershire, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malawi and Turkey. Tim Hopkins, assistant director of investigations, monitoring and enforcement at the regulator, said: "Our inquiry found that the former trustees were reckless with charity funds. Former trustees failed to carry out adequate due diligence on overseas operations and partners, operating in high-risk areas without adequate risk assessment, and cash couriering, a practice discouraged by the Commission. The reckless conduct of one former trustee warranted further action and they have rightly been disqualified. The charity now has a new truste e board who are working with the Commission to improve governance and financial management at the charity. The Commission will continue to monitor its progress." Accountancy Daily, GOV.UK Trustee operated without oversight at ‘inadequately run’ charity The Charity Commission has found the governance and financial management of the Ummah Welfare Foundation was inadequate, with the charity and its finances left under the sole control of one trustee. The Commission has since removed the trustee from the charity. Ummah Welfare, which is based in Oldham, aims to relieve poverty and sickness and advance education in the world. Amy Spiller, head of investigations team at the Charity Commission, said: "Charity can and should lead the way in taking public expectations seriously. This charity’s behaviour fell well below those expectations – with inadequate financial control and no oversight from trustees - a sole trustee made significant decisions alone and engaged in risky practices like cash couriering. It’s right that the trustee responsible has been removed. We expect the new trustee board to comply with our action plan in full." Civil Society, Third Sector, GOV.UK Regulator changes senior management structure The Charity Commission is changing its senior management structure after the departure of some of its directors last year, and is seeking a new chief operating officer. The COO will be responsible for key corporate functions, including HR, finance, governance, risk and assurance. The role is being advertised at a salary of £105,000 and will be based in the Commission’s main office in Liverpool. A Commission spokesperson said: “The Charity Commission is changing so that charity can deliver greater benefit to society. Like any organisation, we need to be open to continual change that ensures our systems and structures keep pace with, and serve, our purpose and strategic objectives. “Improving our senior management structure is part of that, and is aimed at ensuring we are as efficient and accountable as possible as we continue to deliver on our strategy and ambitious business plan.” Civil Society CAMPAIGNS Charities call for inquiry into welfare cut deaths Charities have called for an independent inquiry into deaths related to welfare cuts, following the death of a disabled man who had been told his benefit entitlements were being removed. Christian Wilcox, who reportedly suffered from schizophrenia and a physical impairment, was found dead in his home earlier this year, and was believed to have died in late November, after writing online that a disability benefits assessor had “ignored the sheer amount of pain” he was in. A joint statement signed by more than 20 charities, including Mind and the Trussell Trust, has called for an independent inquiry, with a remit to recommend changes to both government policy and internal Department for Work and Pensions processes. A National Audit Office report recently found it was “highly unlikely” that the DWP had investigated all cases where benefit claimants had died by suicide. The Independent, BBC News Cycling charity warns of pothole dangers Cycling UK has published a report which claims that just one in eight local authorities is meeting targets to fill potholes and repair other road defects on time. The data was based on freedom of information responses by 85 local councils. Separate analysis of Department for Transport figures found that at least 448 cyclists were killed or seriously injured in crashes involving road defects over a 10-year period. The charity says the research underlines a need for a long-term funding strategy to deal with the country's "pothole crisis". Last week the Chancellor announced £2.5bn over the next five years to repair up to 50m potholes as part of the government's "levelling up" agenda to upgrade infrastructure across the UK. Separately, Cycling UK chief executive Paul Tuohy is stepping down after five years in the role. The charity has credited him with transforming it into “a progressive, fearless campaigner for cyclists’ rights,” during his time in charge, reports road.cc. The Times road.cc Charities warn of free school meals loss Charities including Sustain, the Food Foundation, Church Action on Poverty, Magic Breakfast, the Soil Association and the Independent Food Aid Network have written to the government urging ministers to set out plans to feed children from hard-up families if the coronavirus shuts schools and so blocks access to free meals. Sustain chief Kath Dalmeny said: "About 1.5m children are eligible for free school meals due to families on a very low income. If schools shut to prevent the spread of coronavirus, families will struggle to be able to afford to feed their children at home, and will not be able to stockpile food supplies if they are self-isolating.” A letter from the group went to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey and Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick. Daily Mirror ​ ​​​​​​​​​Back to Charity Times archive >>

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Charity Times - 10/03/2020

Posted by Claire Stradling

FUNDRAISING Charities advised to go ahead with planned events The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) has issued guidance in response to concerns about mass participation events amid the coronavirus outbreak. The guidance reiterates the current NHS advice to continue to go to work and public places as usual for the time being. The guidance states: “Of course, each charity will need to consider their own events, but at this stage we would anticipate events going ahead unless the official guidance changes . . . However, it is sensible for each charity to review their plans, put in place contingencies and provide appropriate information to participants/volunteers/attendees ahead of and at the event.” Charities in Scotland were last week warned against complacency amid a potential epidemic, with Scottish law firm Lindsays, which has many charity sector clients, warning employers in the sector that they must prepare without delay. Kate Wyatt, a partner at Lindsays, said: “We’re s eeing so me worrying signs surrounding lack of forward thinking which could cause issues in the medium to long term. No-one can afford to put their head in the sand on this and think they won’t be affected. It’s clear that every organisation - of every size - needs to prepare for a worst-case scenario, including staff being infected, others going into self-isolation and the prospect that they may have to close the doors of their buildings, to employees and clients." A major charity event has already fallen victim to the coronavirus outbreak. Hundreds of people had been due to attend the People’s Postcode Lottery charity gala at the National Museum of Scotland tomorrow, where Sir David Attenborough was to be the guest of honour. The gala has now been shelved “due to current health concerns relating to large public gatherings and travel." Third Force News, Third Force News, Third Force News Most female fundraisers experience gender stereotyping A report from the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) indicates that more than three-quarters of female fundraisers have experienced gender stereotyping at work. The report from the IoF - Missing Out: Understanding the Female Leadership Gap in Fundraising - found multiple issues with gender equality in the fundraising profession, including gender pay inequities and a lack of support for women who need to manage their career with care requirements. The report includes recommendations for charities, the IoF and individual fundraisers, including ensuring a work environment is suitable for those who need flexibility and greater recognition of how race and disability can affect career advancement. Dr Elizabeth J. Dale, co-author of the report, said: “This research calls on the entire sector, and society more broadly, to not only recognise women’s talent and leadership ambition but to rethink how to address tensio ns betwe en work and family and create additional supports so that more women can obtain leadership roles.” Dr Beth Breeze, who co-authored the research, observed: “Clearly, the current career ladders in fundraising are not supporting all of the talented people who aspire to reach leadership roles. I hope the recommendations are read and taken seriously by all who are committed to strengthening the fundraising profession and its positive impact on society. Together we can make sure that talent rises to the top.” Civil Society Fifty biggest charities had 18k fundraising complaints in 2018-19 Analysis by Civil Society shows that the UK's 50 biggest fundraising charities received 18,000 complaints in total in 2018-19 - a 17% drop on the previous year. The analysis of data gleaned from annual reports found that total fundraising complaints fell from more than 21,000 in 2017-18 to about 18,000 in 2018-19. Macmillan Cancer Support was the most complained about charity for a second successive year, but it also saw a substantive year-on-year decrease in complaints, going from 6,600 fundraising complaints in 2017-18 to 4,100 in 2018-19 (a 38% fall). Lindsay Grieve, head of customer experience at Macmillan, said: “We are extremely diligent in our reporting of complaints, for instance in 2017 we started to include any ‘expression of dissatisfaction’ on social media as a complaint. This was supported by the Fundraising Regulator as a rigorous way of logging complaints and something that not all chari ties adh ere to . . . The decrease in the number of complaints, from 2017 to 2018, is largely due to an issue with one of our suppliers, who we stopped working with in 2018, as well as general ongoing improvements based on this customer feedback." Civil Society WORKFORCE Long running industrial dispute is settled Social care charity Cornerstone and trade union Unison have agreed a new recognition deal that brings one of the Scottish charity sector’s longest running industrial disputes to an end. In 2018, the charity said it was de-recognising the union following disagreements over the implementation of its 2017 to 2020 strategic plan. Unison subsequently went to court to force the charity to recognise it. The Central Arbitration Committee (CAC), which heard the charity's appeal, is a state agency that can compel an employer to recognise and work with a trade union where more than half of the workforce are members. The union won its right to proceed at the CAC and meetings were also held with health secretary Jeane Freeman. There has now been a signing-off of a new voluntary recognition agreement. Mike Kirby, Unison Scottish secretary, said: “This agreement establishes new working relations with Cornerstone. We look forward to a const ructive engagement which will benefit Unison members and the whole workforce, will contribute to the development of the organisation and ultimately enhance the service to users and carers.” Andrew Lockhart, Cornerstone chair, said: “We look forward to working with Unison towards a common objective that drives the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of the organisation whilst promoting security of employment and advancement of employees and workers." Third Force News GOVERNANCE Charity mismanaged workplace harassment complaints The Charity Commission has criticised Save the Children UK over failures in its response to complaints about its former bosses. The regulator's report highlights "serious weaknesses" in the charity's workplace culture and its failure to handle complaints about the allegations of workplace harassment amounted to “mismanagement.” The Charity Commission said the charity should have been more transparent with the regulator, its own trustees and the public when complaints were raised in 2012 and 2015, and were subsequently made public in 2018. Helen Stephenson, chief executive of the Charity Commission, said: "Charities should be distinct from other types of organisations in their attitude and behaviour, in their motivations and methods. The public rightly expect that; so do the majority of people working in charities, who deserve a workplace culture that is healthy, supportive, and safe. Creating that culture is not just about putting the right systems and processes in place; it also requires leaders who model the highest standards of behaviour and conduct, and who are held to account properly and consistently when they fall short." Kevin Watkins, the charity's CEO, has admitted that the organisation failed to take sufficient action against former bosses Brendan Cox and Justin Forsyth following accusations of sexual harassment made by female employees. Mr Watkins said: “We were too defensive and ended up using too many lawyers when it wasn't necessary. Even more seriously, we hurt the women who had already been victims of the actions we were investigating.” GOV.UK, Civil Society, Daily Mail, UKFundraising RISK Charities report 102 data breaches in Q3 2019-20 The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) was informed of 102 data breaches at charities between October and December 2019. The ICO received 2,795 reports in total; the charity sector accounted for 3.6% of all reports received. The majority of the incidents involving charities were classified as “other non-cyber incident” (31), followed by “loss/theft of paperwork or data left in insecure location” (19) and “phishing” (12). Meanwhile, an insurer has warned that charities are complacent about cyber-crime and only half of organisations have an adequate plan to deal with a cyber-breach. Research by Ecclesiastical Insurance found that just over half (52%) of organisations have a cybersecurity plan in place, and fewer have a specific cyber-risk management plan (42%) or cyber-insurance (42%). Angus Roy, charity director at Ecclesiastical, said: “Many charities still don’t se e themse lves being at risk of cyber-crime, or if they do, they think they can transfer the risk to their IT provider. The fact is that charities are an increasingly attractive target to cyber-criminals and if they are victims of a cyber incident, it will be them and not the IT provider that has to deal with the reputational fallout." Civil Society, Third Force News LEGAL Regulator wants charities’ views on criminal convictions data The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) wants charities' opinions on regulation around vital safeguarding information available through criminal convictions data. The ICO survey closes this Friday and is focused on Article 10 of the EU privacy law known as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Article 10 relates to a register of criminal convictions of those involved in an organisation. “If you are a controller and you process Article 10 data, we want to hear from you,” says the ICO, adding “We are currently seeking input from individuals representing the HR, retail, building, transport and charity sectors. However, no matter what sector you represent, if you deal with personal data relating to criminal convictions and offences on a regular basis we would like to hear from you.” Charity Digital OTHER Charities have celebrated International Women’s Day 2020 Civil Society reports on how various charities celebrated International Women's Day (IWD) 2020. Refuge, for example, partnered with women to donate their Twitter names to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline. Women who took part included Little Mix, Lorraine Kelly and Miranda Hart. Elsewhere, RSPB in Northern Ireland posted a blog highlighting some female "birders" who fly in the face of certain stereotypes about the hobby. Civil Society ​​​​​​​​​Back to Charity Times archive >>

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Charity Times - 03/03/2020

Posted by Claire Stradling

REGULATION Charities mustn't dismiss complaints, regulator says The Charity Commission says charities must 'listen and learn' when complaints are made to them, amid concerns many charities are 'ignoring or dismissing' issues. The regulator's warning follows criticism that it didn't pursue complaints made about the Alzheimer's Society in 2018 regarding bullying and staff payments. "Charity can and should lead the way in taking public expectations seriously. If you’re a charity, that includes showing that you take complaints and concerns seriously, and are responding appropriately," Charity Commission CEO Helen Stephenson said, adding "This review demonstrates that these high expectations are shared by those close to you: your own beneficiaries, volunteers, staff, supporters and trustees – and that, if they complain, by responding well in the first place, you can help avoid matters being brought to the regulator’s attention. I hope thi s review helps empower charities to take preventative steps that avoid complaints, and to respond with care when problems do arise." Charity Times OUTLOOK Charities regain confidence to campaign Charities appears to be regaining their confidence to campaign despite reporting negative attitudes in the media and among politicians, a survey suggests. A total of 189 campaigners and change-makers were surveyed for the latest Sheila McKechnie Foundation Campaigner Survey. Almost half (48%) of those polled believe that public attitudes to campaigning have become more positive in the past year, although 45% report increasingly negative attitudes amongst politicians and 41% report negativity from the media. Sue Tibballs, chief executive of the Sheila McKechnie Foundation, said: “It is brilliant to see civil society rallying and recovering its confidence to campaign after a long period of feeling conflicted and constrained. Conditions put on public funding have made it difficult for charities to speak up, and the sector has come under sustained pressure from politicians and regulators to step away from political debate." UKFundraising FUNDRAISING Direct mail is the most complained about method of fundraising The Fundraising Regulator's annual Complaints Report identifies direct mail as the most complained about method of fundraising among the largest charities last year. A total of 5,619 complaints received both by the regulator and by 58 charities were about direct mail, an increase of 19% on the previous year. Door-to-door fundraising came second, with 4,094 complaints, 22% up on the year before. Complaints about outdoor events were up 43%, and complaints about private site fundraising were up by 27%. Complaints about online advertising were down 16%. Overall, complaints made to the regulator itself were down by 33% on the previous year; it received 737 between September 1st 2018 and August 31st 2019. Gerald Oppenheim, chief executive of the Fundraising Regulator, said: “Our annual Complaints Report is crucial in providing us with a clear picture of fundraising standards in the UK. The findings help us to identify areas which need greater attention from us, but also allow us to see where there has been improvement. We are grateful for the sector’s continued positive response to the recommendations we make and I look forward to working closely with fundraising organisations to maintain the high standards of fundraising practice we see today.” Civil Society, UKFundraising HMRC to start charging NI on testimonial matches for retired players Football clubs and other bodies organising testimonials for retired sportsmen and women will have to pay National Insurance on any money raised above the sum of £100,000 from April. Traditionally, the matches feature the player’s former teammates and were a reward for long service to a single club, with the proceeds going to support the player in retirement. However, declining player loyalty has made them less common, with players who do receive a testimonial often donating the money to charity. HMRC did not make clear whether the National Insurance charges would apply if the proceeds are donated to charity. If a player has died and the money is given directly to their family, then the new rules would not apply. The Daily Telegraph Long-serving small charities champion steps down Mike Lewis, the first and only grant manager for Wales at Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, is stepping down from the role after 23 years. He currently supports 62 charities across Wales which have been awarded grants worth a total of £4,260,617 from the charitable trust. “I’ve seen first-hand the difference small charities make to the lives of ordinary people. They are the heartbeat of communities and do incredible but often unrecognised work. I am proud to have spent over two decades working with them to reach out to some of the most disadvantaged people in society," he said. Charity Today IoF investigates harassment complaints The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) says it is probing a ‘small number of complaints’ about sexual harassment. The IoF has previously encouraged fundraisers to report breaches of its code of conduct and pledged to investigate complaints. A spokesperson told Civil Society that since an updating of its code of conduct and a change to its complaints policy to allow the investigation of anonymous complaints, the IoF has “received a small number of complaints which have been, or are continuing to be, investigated”. Civil Society Contactless donations for homeless people A contactless payment initiative has been launched to help homeless people in Glasgow. An online donation facility and contactless giving points will enable people to pay for practical items for homeless people, including clothes to attend a job interview and tickets for public transport. Simon Community Scotland, Glasgow Homelessness Network and The Big Issue partnered with Glasgow City Council, the Chamber of Commerce and Police Scotland on the scheme. Third Force News WORKFORCE Charity's Living Wage pledge Sistema Scotland , a charity that aims to transform lives and communities through music and which runs the Big Noise programme, has made a commitment to ensure its workers are paid fairly, and has been accredited as a Living Wage employer by Living Wage Scotland. All staff at Sistema Scotland, whether they are direct employees or third-party contracted staff, will receive a minimum hourly wage of £9.30. This is higher than the statutory minimum for over 25s of £8.21 per hour. Jack Evans, Living Wage Scotland manager, said: “We hope that the real Living Wage commitment of over 500 Scottish third sector organisations, including Sistema will inspire more of Scotland’s third sector to choose the real Living Wage as an important step to ensure workers and their families earn enough to get by." Third Force News Ethical vegan settles tribunal case So-called “ethical vegan” Jordi Casamitjana says his legal battle against his former employer is a “victory for animal protection” after he settled the case at an employment tribunal. Mr Casamitjana said he was dismissed by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) after he raised concerns that the charity's pension fund was being invested in organisations that tested on animals and did damage to the environment. The charity, which previously claimed that Mr Casamitjana was properly dismissed for gross misconduct, conceded he had done nothing wrong to raise such concerns. Mr Casamitjana said: “The case has established that ethical vegans are protected from discrimination, and I have received the acknowledgement I sought that my dismissal was based on my ethical veganism, and was not justified or justifiable.” Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, BBC News, The Guardian EVENT Conference will bring sector together The National Charity Conference ’20 will be held at the Allia Conference Centre in Peterborough on Tuesday December 8th 2020 to coincide with UK Charity Week. The event will bring together practitioners working within and for the charity sector. Topics to be discussed on the day will include fundraising, marketing, governance, finance and collaboration. Charity Today GOVERNANCE Government probes NCS Trust The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is investigating governance issues at NCS Trust, the royal charter body that has overseen the development of the National Citizen Service youth volunteering programme, after becoming aware of “an unacceptable exit package proposed for the outgoing NCS chief executive”. Former chief executive Michael Lynas has been involved since the inception of the flagship youth volunteering programme in 2009, but resigned last year. He had been expected to be part of a transition committee for the new chief executive and act as a consultant for six months. The Sunday Mirror reported that Mr Lynas had been due to receive £15,000 to “help him train for a new job.” A DCMS spokesperson said: “Earlier this month we were made aware of an unacceptable exit package proposed for the outgoing NCS chief executive. We have taken swift action to s top this , and are investigating wider issues around governance." Civil Society MANAGEMENT Samaritans drops plans to hire Jeremy Hughes Following reports of bullying at the Alzheimer’s Society under the leadership of Jeremy Hughes, Samaritans has decided to scrap his appointment as their new chief executive. Whistleblowers alleged that he displayed bullying behaviour to staff and presided over a toxic culture at the dementia charity, leading to payouts totalling £750,000 to staff. A spokesperson for Samaritans said: “In light of events over the past week, the board of trustees has decided that it cannot proceed with the appointment of Jeremy Hughes as chief executive, which was due to start in May. This decision is not in any way based on the allegations themselves, which Samaritans is not in a position to judge. It will begin a new chief executive recruitment process in due course.” Third Force News CAMPAIGNS Children to be taught their legal rights The Times reports on Justice Week, a campaign seeking to promote teaching of the rule of law in schools. As part of the campaign, organised by education charity Young Citizens, nearly 40,000 young people in more than 440 schools are expected to participate in what one City law firm describes as "the biggest public legal education event of its kind". Young Citizens describes it as "a nationwide effort to support the next generation to understand their legal rights and why the law protects us all". Tom Franklin, the charity's chief executive, says that the programme "gives schools a greater licence to teach about subjects such as the law through citizenship". Law firms involved include Allen & Overy. Mark Mansell, a partner at the firm, predicts that the effects “will stay with the children involved for all of their lives”. He adds: “Engaging children at a young age in the fundamentals of the rule of law is the begin ning of them understanding how our society runs and the crucial role they can play within it.” The Times ​​​​​​​​​Back to Charity Times archive >>

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Charity Times - 25/02/2020

Posted by Claire Stradling

GOVERNANCE Regulator to probe concerns about Alzheimer’s Society The Charity Commission is to investigate a complaint about the Alzheimer’s Society which it didn't respond to in 2018, following a report in The Guardian at the weekend. The newspaper said the charity has reportedly spent £750,000 on non-disclosure agreements to silence staff, according to a complaint from a whistleblower. The complainant contacted the Charity Commission but the watchdog admits it failed to act quickly enough on concerns over the charity’s handling of grievances. One source told The Guardian that CEO Jeremy Hughes had an “explosive temper” and displayed bullying behaviour towards staff. Helen Earner, director of operations at the Charity Commission, said: “We received a complaint about the Alzheimer’s Society in February 2018, detailing concerns about the charity’s approach to dealing with staff grievances . . . Whilst this was at a time when the volume of cases coming into us was high, nevertheless we should have followed up on the complaint, and that did not happen. We have since overhauled our handling of whistleblowing reports." The regulator said it is now looking into the matter. Mr Hughes is due to take over at Samaritans in May, but trustees of the charity now say they are set to hold discussions about the appointment. A Samaritans spokesperson said yesterday: "Our board of trustees takes this issue extremely seriously and are currently in discussions about the situation." The Guardian, Civil Society, Third Sector RISK Charity is hit for £1m by ‘sophisticated cyber fraud’ A housing charity has lost nearly £1m after being targeted by criminals. Red Kite Housing was conned of £932,000 in what it described as "a sophisticated cybercrime." The charity said criminals had “mimicked the domain and email details of known contacts that were providing services to Red Kite . . . Through this they managed to recreate an email thread that misled those who were copied into the email that it was a genuine follow up to an existing conversation.” Details of the incident have been passed to ActionFraud and police are investigating. No customer data was put at risk and Red Kite said its systems and processes are being strengthened. “We have continued to build additional security measures into our IT and to review completely all our processes in relation to payments in order to minimise the chance of a single point of weakness occurring in the future,” the charity said. Civil Society FUNDRAISING Consultation on expanding the dormant assets scheme The government has launched a consultation to gather views on its proposals to expand the dormant assets scheme to include new financial assets. The public consultation follows two industry-led reports which made recommendations on broadening the current scheme beyond bank and building society accounts to include assets from the insurance and pensions, investment and wealth management, and securities sectors. The existing dormant assets scheme has to date redistributed more than £600m to good causes. Baroness Barran, minister for civil society, said: “The dormant assets scheme is making a real difference to people across the nation . . . That’s why we are now seeking views on expanding the scheme to include even more unclaimed assets, in a way that continues to protect customers whilst potentially unlocking millions more pounds for good causes.” GOV.UK, Civil Society Legacy giving to grow more than forecast Legacy income is expected to grow by £500m more between 2019 and 2024 than previously projected, according to Legacy Foresight. Last year, the legacy consortium said legacy income would likely increase by 3.3% year-on-year over the period, but now forecasts 3.6% yearly growth after adjustments to take into consideration the higher number of deaths forecast by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and for post-Brexit economic conditions. Meanwhile, legacy consideration grew 10% in the past year, according to research from fastmap and Freestyle Marketing. People are also increasingly inclined to write their Will online and residuary giving is becoming more acceptable, the research suggests. Civil Society, UKFundraising Platform enables donations to multiple charities in one transaction DonatePal is a new online fundraising platform that enables donations to multiple charities simultaneously. The app incudes options for one-off, daily, weekly or monthly donations, and users of the platform can also opt in to Gift Aid. Shan Sheikh, DonatePal’s COO, says he wants as many charities as possible to register with the app, so giving users the widest choice. “We are especially interested in working with smaller charities that don’t always get much visibility with a wider audience,” he said. UKFundraising The UK’s 'most loved' charities New research suggests Macmillan Cancer Support, Cancer Research UK and Dog’s Trust are Britain’s "most loved" charities. The top ten in market research firm Savanta’s new BrandVue Most Loved Charities Report also features RSPCA, BBC Children In Need, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity, British Heart Foundation, Royal British Legion, Help for Heroes, and Marie Curie. The report says people give more to the charities they "love" and loved charities also enjoy greater levels of public trust. UKFundraising Charities are trusted on social care A survey from the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) suggests people in the UK think charities are the most trusted organisations to provide reliable social care services. But respondents to the poll didn't believe that charities should be responsible for filling the gaps in provision. More than half (56%) of respondents to the survey said central government should be most responsible for providing social care. UKFundraising WORKFORCE Charity concern about points-based immigration plan The government's plan for a points-based system for awarding visas to allow people to work in the UK could be “catastrophic” for the social care sector, representative bodies say. Rhidian Hughes, chief executive of Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG), said: “These hugely concerning proposals by government will only exacerbate workforce shortages in social care. Employers are already struggling to recruit and retain staff due to chronic underfunding in the sector." Nadra Ahmed OBE, executive chair of the National Care Association, observed: “This system will bring with it substantial challenges for our sector as we are currently facing a call for more social care not less, and yet providers are being forced to consider exiting the market due to the workforce shortages and funding issues." Under the government’s "points-based" immigration system, overseas citi zens wou ld have to reach 70 points to qualify to work in the UK. Applicants gain points for their past work experience, earnings and educational qualifications under changes expected to be introduced in 2022. Civil Society RSPCA staff vote for strike action RSPCA staff are to strike over a dispute with management over new contracts and performance-related pay for all employees. Unite members at the animal charity voted for strike action by 73%, and the trade union, which represents hundreds of employees, accused RSPCA management of a “bullying attitude.” Unite regional officer Jesika Parmar said: “Our members have voted overwhelmingly for strike action in protest at the arbitrary imposition of new ‘performance pay’ contracts without a proper consultation process. These new contracts are very detrimental to our members." RSPCA responded: “Staff have been reassured that their base pay will not be impacted by the review. We are proposing that future pay increases should be based on affordability for the Society, linked to appropriate market pay and to recognise the contribution of employees.” Charity Times, Civil Society Retail safeguarding scheme is launched Charity Retail Association (CRA) and Barnardo's are partnering on the launch of a retail safeguarding scheme to encourage charity retailers to certify their shops’ approach to safeguarding. CRA chief executive Robin Osterley said: “This scheme provides an excellent framework within which charity retailers can operate their safeguarding processes, taking a big step towards ensuring there is even more focus on keeping staff, volunteers and customers safe. The scheme can be operated by any charity retailer, whatever its size, and thus offers the possibility of real consistency across the sector in terms of its safeguarding practices.” Charity Times, Civil Society CAMPAIGNS Chocolate campaign to tackle loneliness Cadbury’s “Donate Your Words” campaign, launched in September, has seen 30p from each bar of Dairy Milk sold in the UK donated to charity Age UK, in an effort to tackle the loneliness crisis among the country’s older people. In order to grab attention, the chocolate brand removed all the words from the front of Dairy Milk bar packaging. The campaign also encouraged members of the public to spend more time contacting older people in their communities and families. The Daily Telegraph Make ‘cyber-flashing’ a sex crime A women's charity has called for so-called “cyber-flashing" to be made a sex crime, after police figures showed such offences almost doubled in number last year. The End Violence Against Women Coalition said victims, who have explicit photos sent to their iPhones over its AirDrop feature should be afforded legal anonymity, and perpetrators should face being entered on the sex offenders' register as a deterrent. The Daily Telegraph OTHER PM urged to appoint minister for older people Campaigners and charities have called on prime minister Boris Johnson to appoint a minister for older people, to help tackle the “scandalous abuse and neglect” of hundreds of thousands of elderly Britons. Dame Esther Rantzen, founder and president of The Silver Line, said the needs of older people “are being sliced up between departments.” “Look at the muddle of social care, still not sorted in spite of all the promises,” she added, “Older people are being blamed for being bed blockers in hospital and house blockers in communities when there is nowhere safe and economical for them to live.” Dr John Beer, chairman of Action on Elder Abuse, said a dedicated minister would have broad oversight, “and would hold the government to account.” Daily Express ​​​​​​​​​Back to Charity Times archive >>

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Charity Times - 18/02/2020

Posted by Claire Stradling

GOVERNANCE Fourteen members appointed to SORP committee Fourteen members have been newly appointed to the Charities Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) committee. The move is part of an attempt to make the accounts of charities more user-friendly for the public, funders and others, and to make preparation easier for smaller charities. For the first time, the committee will include organisations which work closely with charities and have a working knowledge of charity accounts, as well as greater membership from smaller charities. Civil Society highlights that ten men and four women have been appointed to the new committee, with those involved in the hiring process acknowledging a lack of diversity in the appointments and saying they will be seeking to widen the pool of applicants in future. Laura Anderson, joint chair of the SORP-making body and head of professional advice and intelligence at OSCR, the Scottish charities regulator, said: “When the SORP-making body next meets, we will discuss a strategy for engaging with people from diverse backgrounds in the SORP-making process, including through engagement partners. We will also reflect on how we can reach out to a wider range of people when we next recruit a SORP committee.” GOV.UK Foreign Affairs Civil Society London charity is probed over financial concerns The Charity Commission has launched a statutory inquiry into The Everlasting Arms Ministries, a South London-based charity, over serious concerns about its financial management. The regulator is particularly concerned about the 2016 sale of a property on the Old Kent Road in South London. The proceeds of the sale do not appear to be adequately reflected in the charity’s accounts for the following years. The Commission is also concerned about payments made to individuals connected to the charity, including its trustees. The charity’s bank accounts have been frozen by the watchdog, and the trustees have been ordered to provide information to the inquiry, which opened on December 30th 2019. GOV.UK Misconduct claims at LGBT charity Scotland's charity regulator has taken action against the Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual Community Project Limited following claims of misconduct. An independent party has now been appointed to run the charity after its remaining trustee stepped down. A spokesperson for the regulator said: “OSCR has appointed an interim judicial factor to manage the affairs of the charity. This action was taken following notification that the only active charity trustee of the charity had resigned. As a result of our inquiry it appears that there has been misconduct in the administration of the charity and that it is necessary to act for the purposes of protecting the property of the charity.” Third Force News FUNDRAISING Institute of Fundraising to get Royal Charter status The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) has been granted chartered status by the Queen. The charter becomes legally effective once the IoF receives the Royal Seal, which CEO Peter Lewis said is expected to “happen within the next few months.” The Institute will legally become the Chartered Institute of Fundraising upon its receipt of the Royal Seal. Chartered status symbolises an enhanced recognition of the profession of fundraising at government level. The IoF observes on its website: “Fundraisers have often felt that fundraising is not recognised as a profession, either by the public or the organisations for whom they work. This is changing gradually, but many still feel some people outside the sector don’t see fundraising as a credible career, profession or even a proper paid job. Becoming a chartered body will give fundraising the external recognition it deserves as a respected profession that delivers public benefit here and abroad.” Civil Society UKFundraising Charity receives €10m legacy The Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) has benefitted from a €10m legacy for its work in Galway in the Republic of Ireland. The bequest from Maureen O’Connell was initially received in 2007 and at the time was worth €7.73m. This sum has grown to €10.5m through accumulated bank interest and other income. Harry Kenney, chairman of the Maureen O’Connell Bequest Committee, said the investments made by the charity, including capital projects, “would not have been possible without the kindness and generosity of the late Maureen O’Connell for which we are very grateful.” UKFundraising MANAGEMENT Action for Children chief resigns Julie Bentley is stepping down as chief executive of Action for Children after 18 months in the role. Bentley, who said she had resigned for personal reasons, joined the charity in August 2018, and had previously been chief executive at Girlguiding. She will hand over at the end of this month to Carol Iddon, the charity's deputy chief executive, who will lead the organisation until the appointment of an interim chief executive. An Action for Children spokesperson said: “[Bentley] has been an incredibly visible frontline chief executive inspiring staff across the UK and during her time, she’s led the work to develop a new brand, vision, mission and values as well as pioneering the launch of our Choose Childhood campaign.” Civil Society Third Sector WORKFORCE Charity workers' strike ballot over holidays Unite union members at Dundee Independent Advocacy Support (DIAS), an advocacy service part-funded by Dundee City Council and the NHS that provides support for vulnerable adults, are voting on strike action. The dispute centres on an enforced change to terms and conditions affecting union membership. Unite regional industrial officer George Ramsay said: “The changes will result in the removal of holidays which were given instead of an annual pay increase. The newly appointed DIAS board has decided to withdraw these holidays. To make matters worse, the organisation has refused to talk with Unite in order to listen and respond to our legitimate concerns." The union ballot closes on Thursday. Third Force News GOVERNMENT Oliver Dowden is new DCMS secretary Oliver Dowden is the new Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the department overseeing charities. He replaces Nicky Morgan in prime minister Boris Johnson's reshuffle. Meanwhile, Baroness Barran has been reappointed as minister for civil society. Charity Times Civil Society CAMPAIGNS Charity coalition demands Home Office respects rights of asylum seekers A coalition of charities which includes the Scottish Refugee Council, JustRight, and Shelter, among others, has urged the UK government to “cease to use destitution as a policy tool.” The group’s report, published this week, also outlines nine other recommendations for local, national and UK governments to prevent extreme poverty in immigrant communities. These include calling on the Scottish Government “to ensure lock changes are unlawful” in the wake of the Scottish Court of Session ruling that Serco evictions were legal in November last year. Other recommendations include restoring asylum seekers’ right to work, extra protections for people who face barriers to return which are beyond their control, and that the Scottish Government and local authorities ensure the anti-destitution s trategy announced in the recent Budget does not fall short. The National The Herald More support urged for young carers Action for Children has released a report which details the lives of young carers. It is calculated that they are spending an average of 25 hours a week looking after loved ones, with the unpaid work the equivalent of £12,000 a year on a part-time carer's wage. Describing this as a "hidden child workforce," the charity said the amount of responsibility being placed upon children is "appalling". It wants the government to ensure all young carers have access to respite services, the current provision of which is deemed “patchy.” BBC News Daily Mirror Charity gives £200,000 to promote bagpipes in schools The Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT) is giving more Scots youngsters the chance to learn the bagpipes in schools by donating more than £200,000 to its national lending service. The charity has loaned 305 sets of pipes to schools, councils and community groups across Scotland since launching its service in 2015. Sandra Taylor, music service coordinator at Fife Council, said: “An increase in piping provision in Fife in August 2014 was warmly welcomed and was greatly supported by the loan of 50 sets of bagpipes from the SSPDT.” The Sunday Post OTHER The most peculiar items donated to Mind shops Mental health charity Mind has shared its latest list of the most peculiar items donated to its shops in the last year, including a set of false teeth, a used toilet seat (both thrown away), and a see-through pair of men’s trousers and matching shirt. Andrew Vale, Director of Mind Retail, nevertheless observed: “We are so grateful that people across the country donate to Mind shops ... Last year thousands of donations were made to our 167 Mind shops, allowing us to help over 118,000 people through our helplines.” UKFundraising ​​​​​​​​​Back to Charity Times archive >>

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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 ​ ​​​​​​​​​Back to Charity Times archive >>

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Charity Times - 04/02/2020

Posted by Claire Stradling

FUNDRAISING £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.” New Start 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 Independent GOVERNANCE 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. Third Sector 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. Press Release 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. Mirage News Gov.uk GRANTS 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 Third Sector REGULATION 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.” 24 Housing CAMPAIGNS 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.” Retail Times 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. Fundraising DONATIONS 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 York Press OTHER 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. Infosecurity Magazine ​​​​​​​​​Back to Charity Times archive >>

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