DSC Researcher, Rebecca Eddington, rounds up the policy news from around the sector.
This week has been heartbreaking for many families across the UK as we begin to come to terms with the news surrounding free school meals for children. However, the upset and anguish felt by many has brought together communities, with local business, charities and councils stepping in to make sure children don’t go hungry. Fareshare also received a record number of donations in response to Marcus Rashford’s campaign. The generosity and kindness of the people of the UK has shone through again this week.
Baroness Stowell steps down from her role as Chair of Charity Commission
The Charity Commission chair, Baroness Stowell, made front page news this week, following her interview with the Telegraph and the comments she made about the National Trust’s report on the links between its properties and colonialism. The commission have asked for a response on why the trust thinks the report furthers its charitable objectives (as if they haven’t got enough to deal with at the moment!).
This comes after Jacob Rees-Mogg and Anne Widecombe criticized the trust’s report, and Stowell’s actions have been labelled as politically motivated. Stowell said that the trust shouldn’t ‘lose sight of what it 5.6 million members expected’. As Rebecca Cooney points out in her article for Third Sector ‘How on earth explaining the history of these properties, to people who are explicitly interested in history, strays from the charity’s objects is anyone’s guess.’
Andrew echoed those thoughts in his write up: ‘Whatever the reason, the Commission is doing itself and the public no service by misrepresenting the purposes of the National Trust as “simple” and implying that reporting on the links to slavery may not be a legitimate aspect of “historical interest” to all those who believe that black lives matter.’
Stowell has said she will not be seeking a second term at the end of her three-year period. I’m sure we’ll see lobbying from charities in the coming weeks to try and ensure that the appointment is not politically driven.
Changes announced for job retention scheme by the government
After a mounting pressure, Rishi Sunak announced changes to the government’s job retention scheme last Thursday. CFG have written about the three main announcements, including the changes to the improved Job Support Scheme and how that will benefit organisations.
Charity Christmas donations expected to drop
ITV news reported on statistics collected by Pro Bono Economics: 46% of charities expect their Christmas donations to fall; 23% are expected to make further job cuts; and 19% are expecting to have to reduce their Christmas services. Read the article and watch the short news clips here, which brings awareness to the support charities urgently need. #NeverMoreNeeded
Lastly, next week it’s cause for celebration as it’s #TrusteesWeek 2020! A chance for us to recognise the wonderful work trustees do for all our charitable organisations. (Thank you to all our amazing trustees reading this right now, you’re awesome!). If you want more information on how to get involved or see any of the virtual events that are taking place, visit http://trusteesweek.org/. NCVO are also holding webinars and have other resources available, find out more.
We at DSC will be publishing free top tips blogs, videos and will also have a prize draw to win signed copies of It’s a Battle on the Board by DSC CEO Debra Allcock Tyler. Keep an eye out on our Twitter for posts next week.