It’s a busy news week this week. With a second lockdown looming, we must be supportive of our friends in the sector who may not be coping as well as others. The Coronavirus Job Retention scheme (or furlough scheme) has been extended for another month, which will cover employees’ wages at a more generous level than the Job Retention scheme. You can see Charity Tax Group’s coverage of this here, which features some useful guidance. It may be worth sharing this around your social media channels to remind our #NeverMoreNeeded charities that support is available… whilst we wait patiently for our £750 million funding package!
In other news:
- It’s Trustees Week! Trustees are the backbone of any charity, so use this week to show your appreciation for them. The Charity Commission has produced several five-minute guides, covering what they call a ‘core syllabus of basics that trustees need to know’. Topics explored include financial oversight, good decision-making, addressing conflicts of interest amongst others. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in these guides, then perhaps give Debra’s ‘Battle on the Board’ a read! There’s no better time, since DSC will be entering everyone who buys a copy of the book this week into a prize draw.
The boy who cried wolf
- One of our trustees, Caron Bradshaw, likened the plight of charities during the coronavirus crisis to the story of ‘the boy who cried wolf’ in her blog. It comes after a conversation she had, in which someone implied that the sector may be exaggerating or falsifying accounts of financial crises, because they had ‘spoken to charities who are doing okay’. Whilst it is an amazing achievement that some charities have managed to adapt and keep themselves above water, it’s important to remember that others have not been so lucky. Caron uses data to reinforce the #NeverMoreNeeded campaign’s warnings of job losses, cuts to services and an overall loss in income. She finishes with: “The wolf may be kept at bay, but make no mistake – it continues to threaten the future of the communities we serve every day and only substantial action now will save us from savage loss.”
‘Everyone has a right to nourishment and a safe, warm home’
- This years’ John Lewis & Waitrose Christmas advert will feature a nod to its newly-announced campaign, in partnership with FareShare and Home-Start. The two retailers hope to raise £5 million in funds for the charities through various customer-led initiatives. The retailers will also match donations to the two charities, up to the value of £2 million. James Bailey, Executive Director of Waitrose & Partners, says: “Everyone has a right to nourishment and a safe, warm home and we believe that as a Partnership, we can be an enduring force for good, which lasts well beyond Christmas.”
PM promises he will do ‘much more to support the voluntary sector’
- In the House of Commons yesterday, Boris Johnson promised to do ‘much more to support the voluntary sector’ over the winter. The shadow charities minister, Rachel Maskell, reminded the Prime Minister that charities are ‘predicted to have a £10 billion deficit’ in funds, with fundraising opportunities having dried up, and with retail stores now being forced to close. She asked: “What additional resources will the Prime Minister bring forward to ensure they can deliver vital services at this time?”. The Prime Minister pledged his support for sector, but did not make explicitly clear whether additional support will become available. It could be likely that Mr Johnson is referring to existing coronavirus support schemes, but time will tell.