Stronger charities for a stronger society
The House of Lords has produced a wide-ranging report with many welcome recommendations following a year-long enquiry into the voluntary sector.
Our CEO Jane Hartley contributed by speaking on a panel at the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Charities and Volunteering to discuss voluntary sector involvement in devolution from a North East perspective.
The resulting report runs to 156 pages and 100 conclusions and recommendations. Civil Society has pulled out the key recommendations which can be read on their website.
Responses from the sector have been mixed, with some welcoming the positives contained within the report, but some felt it did not go far enough. There is also some doubt about what actions will follow from the report.
Barney Mynott, Head of Public Affairs at NAVCA, said;
“This weighty publication shows the Select Committee has done a thorough job. We are delighted to see support for grant funding, a re-commitment to not paying trustees, recognition that charity campaigning is a ‘sign of a healthy democracy’ and the timely expression of concern about the Charity Commission introducing charging.”...“The acid test is what difference this will make. Rob Wilson and OCS have to take up the challenge of this report and turn these words into real support for charities.”
Andy Hillier, editor of Third Sector, says the report from the House of Lords Select Committee on Charities is more pragmatic than revolutionary.
Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, said that "any move to charging should go hand in hand with an overhaul of the commission’s governance" to ensure its independence from government.
The charity leaders body Acevo and the Charity Finance Group welcomed the committee’s comments, and Andrew O’Brien, head of policy and
engagement at the CFG, talking specifically about the Charity Commission’s plans to charge charities for regulation, warned that rushing into charging could lead to long-term damage to public trust in the sector.
Jay Kennedy, director of policy and research at the Directory of Social Change, said it was unfortunate the committee had stopped short of recommending against the idea completely.
The full report can be viewed and downloaded from www.parliament.uk.
VONNE continues to make the case for the importance of the voluntary sector to the region’s economic growth.
Voluntary Sector is vitally important for economic growth
Carol Botten, Deputy CEO of VONNE, sits on the North East LEP Employment and Skills Board and played a leading role in refreshing the employability and social inclusion section of the LEP’s new Strategic Economic Plan (SEP).
VONNE’s contributions are outlined in Andrew Hodgson’s, (Chair of the North East LEP) recent column for the Journal, reproduced by kind permission on our website.
Guide for supporting children and families of prisoners
A local charity which supports prisoners and their families has launched a guide for health and social care professionals. Nepacs has produced a handy booklet and pocket guide, to provide information and guidance for anyone working in health and social care so that they can better support children and families of prisoners in the area.
For full details, and how to access the guide, please visit the Nepacs website.
New network - Positive Behavioural Support North East and Cumbria
The North East and Cumbria Positive Behavioural Support (PBS) Community of Practice is a network of people who are interested in developing PBS in our region and improving the lives of people with a learning disability and/or autism with behaviour that challenges.
Information about the latest news and events, useful resources/links, policy and reports are available from www.pbsnec.co.uk.
Funding call for charities working with deprived and disadvantaged people
The Greggs Foundation is inviting applications to its North East core funding programme. The North East Core Funding scheme (which used be called Major Grants) awards grants to charitable organisations based in the North East of England that make a difference to people in need. Grants of up to £15,000 per annum for up to three years are available to organisations that are supporting disadvantaged people. The deadline for applications is 17th May.
For full details, including eligibility and application procedure please see www.greggsfoundation.org.uk/grants.
Third Sector Trends in the North of England
IPPR North is currently leading a programme of research on the future of civil society in the North. As part of that work, IPPR North have published their summary of key findings report on the state of the third sector in the north of England in 2017.
The report can be accessed via their website.
UNW approved as a Big Potential Advanced provider
North East chartered accountants and business advisors UNW is urging VCSEs to get in touch after being accredited as a Big Potential provider. Launched in 2014, the £10m fund is aimed at eligible voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations (VCSEs) to improve their sustainability, capacity and scale and help them deliver greater social impact for communities across England.
Read more details on our website.
Student run free ‘business clinic’ for charities
The Business Clinic is a scheme which offers a ‘pro bono’ consultancy service for not for profit and charitable organisations.
Run by Newcastle Business School at Northumbria University, the service is offered by final year undergraduate and masters students, supported by a team of experts from Newcastle Business School. The service offers free advice in the form of a detailed report and presentation. For more details contact Business Clinic Coordinator email@example.com.
Let's Talk Good Finance North East
Thursday 4 May 2pm – 5pm
Gateway Studio Project
Trinity Centre, Gateshead
Are you a charity, social enterprise or organisation that would like to know more about social investment, meet social investors and hear about and from other organisations that have used social investment to sustain or grow your organisation?
This event will help to demystify social investment and enable organisations to share their experiences. Find out more and register on our website.
What does it mean to be a child in Newcastle?
Thursday 27 April 1.30 – 4.30pm
Children North East
89 Denhill Park, Newcastle upon Tyne
Join Children England and VONNE to discuss childhood in the Tyneside area: its current pressures, the challenges and opportunities of devolution and how children’s charities can work together to put children at the heart of local decision-making. For full details please visit the Children England website.
Social Justice and Social Renewal in the North East of England
Thursday 27 April, 12:30 - 4:30pm
Research Beehive 2.22
Old Library Building, Newcastle University
This workshop is an opportunity for voluntary sector organisations to talk to staff and students from the Politics department at Newcastle University about different ways of collaborating.
Attendees will hear about a new project, supported by the Newcastle Institute for Social Renewal, on pathways to social renewal in the North East and ways of getting involved. Lunch will be included. For catering numbers please RSVP by 17 April.
Business and Professional Women UK National Conference
Friday 21 April 9:45am – 6pm
Royal Station Hotel
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Registration is open for the Business & Professional Women (BPW) UK National Conference in Newcastle. The theme of the conference is Women Driving the New Economy. Full details are available from www.bpwuk.org.uk/conference.
Growth Hub Live: Accessing Finance
Wednesday 26 April
Growth Hub Live: Accessing Finance is a drop-in session where businesses can speak to a whole series of experts on topics affecting their business plan.
The free session is open to any business or social enterprise of any size and in any sector. Though the main aim is to improve access to finance, any organisation wanting to talk through issues relating to business growth are welcome to attend and connect with the experts on hand.
For more information visit their eventbrite page.
FinanceCamp North East
Wednesday 24 May
Ramside Hall, Durham
Businesses looking to raise finance can meet face-to-face with dozens of investors and lenders on one day, under one roof at FinanceCamp North East.
A programme of workshops in advance of the event will help prepare delegates to make the most of the meetings. Delegates are then matched to potential investors who they meet in person.
For more information and to apply visit http://financecamp.co.uk/.