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Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 15 December 2011 - 10:03am

A trip to ncvo on Tuesday- but this time not to check how the plumbing is going but to speak at one of my members meetings. Anita Kerwin-Nye is the Director of the Communications Trust which raise awareness of the importance of speech, language and communication across the children’s workforce and enable practitioners to access the best training and expertise to support all children’s communication needs.

Here is Anita with Brian Lamb at the meeting:

I was speaking about public services and we had a lively debate. But I think this debate has moved on in the sector and there is broad support for us doing more service delivery. There were understandable concerns about the role of the private sector but my view is that although there ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 14 December 2011 - 11:09am

Loans are an important new tool in supporting and expanding our sector's work. And needed more.

You are wrong to assert in your recent Third Sector article that we must avoid debt as a sector . ( Article, this weeks' Third Sector by Debra Allcock Tyler).

You are right however to urge caution.

A loan will not fit or suit many third sector organisations. It won't help campaigning charities. A loan must be repaid and so no organisation should go into a loan unless they are absolutely clear on the obligations and responsibilities that a loan brings. You should have weighed up the different options. But in some cases a loan makes financial sense and is a good option.

It is also the job of social lenders like the Social Investment Business ( who now have 7 years experience of loans to over 300 organisations) venturesome or Charity Bank. In fact they are very careful to only lend to charities or social enterprises that have a clear business plan that ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 13 December 2011 - 12:21pm

Kevin Curley says Bubb is, " in a sense the sector's Jeremy Clarkson". How very dare he! I have never ever suggested anyone should be taken out and shot in front of their family......yet. ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 13 December 2011 - 12:01pm

A rather poignant story in Third Sector magazine. The Charity Environmental Protection UK went under last week as local councils pulled their funding. It has a fabulous history. Started in 1898 as the Coal Smoke Abatement Society it campaigned against air pollution. It was largely responsible for the clean air legislation. Its Treasurer coined the very phrase smog ( smoke plus fog! )

This demonstrates the long and honourable history of our great sector and its proud history of campaigning and advocacy. I suspect that in its day there were plenty of backwoodsmen MPs frothing at the mouth about this charity- much as today we get MPs on the backbenches ( and even in the Public Administration Committee ) fulminating about campaigning charities. The " charities should be seen but not heard" view has also a long and dishonourable history. But whenever there is injustice or wrong , there will be people and communities who will campaign to put it right. So we salute them. And ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 11 December 2011 - 2:06pm

The Sunday papers report on the letter the Archbishop of York has written to the PM and " fellow taxpayers. It is worth repeating in full.

" At a recent Symposium held here at Bishopthorpe Palace, those who attended agreed that I write an open letter to you and to all my fellow taxpayers.

A time of economic crisis is a moment, not for social and economic retreat, but to build for the future. Her Majesty’s Government has rightly recognised the importance of building the economy in its recently announced National Infrastructure Programme. But we also need to strengthen the bonds that bind our community together, especially at a time when these are under particular strain.

A new social covenant is needed which – on the basis of an honest assessment of the respective roles of the State, voluntary associations and individual citizens – assures the weak and vulnerable of proper protection and gives all of us confidence that we are committed to building the ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 10 December 2011 - 10:21am

A glorious evening. As the gale wrecked and howled the trees around Craigendarroch we sat and drank a glorious bottle of champagne and tucked into Balmoral chicken. That's a confection from the Queen's butcher in Ballater ; a chicken breast stiffed with haggis and wrapped in bacon. Just the ticket for watching the semi finals of Master Chef !

It was a lovely end to our Highland idyll. But not without incident. The Hound and I had been on a wind swept walk to an isolated and ruined Church on the Dee. Just after we had passed down the track , a tree was felled by the wind and blown onto the very track we had traversed. But the journey was worth it. An atmospheric graveyard. One of the most interesting graves is that of Fr Lachlan McIntosh , for 64 years until dying in 1846, the faithful pastor of the catholic souls of Balmoral and Ballater. You can find his grave with ease because his gravestone is set facing West. All priests are buried in the opposite direction to the ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 8 December 2011 - 5:23pm

Rosamund's article this week in Third Sector was the cause of much amusement in the office, but I must admit nevertheless to being irked by the stereotyping. So certain she clearly is of her own charmingly romantic notions she totally overlooks the absurdity of her own position as a highly paid lawyer lecturing full-time voluntary-sector workers on the need to discover what it's like in the real world. And as it is blowing a gale up here in the Highlands I thought might give Rosamund some helpful advice as unusually , she had not worked her brief too well before putting pen to her third sector paper.

She suggests , "For example, Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive of Acevo, promotes larger charities that provide services to the state.”

This is factually wrong. 47 percent of ACEVO’s members lead charities and community organisations with a turnover of less than £1m. We run regular CEO forums in the North which bring together a richly diverse representation ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 8 December 2011 - 10:00am

Andrew Lansley MP spoke at Guys Hospital yesterday, ( founded as a charity in Southwark in the 16 th century incidentally ) about improving results for patients. It's worth repeating key points from his speech :

"Today, we are making it clear that the NHS is about one ambition and one ambition alone - improving results for patients.

"And that is the change that the NHS Outcomes Framework that we’re publishing today, will bring about. It sets the direction for the whole NHS. Orienting the NHS back towards the people who really matter: its patients.

"And it sets out how we will hold the NHS to account for improving the results that patients get.

"But to realise my ambition -- I must realise the ambitions of the near one million patients that come into contact with the NHS every day. To give patients genuine options over their care
to give patients the tools they need to decide with their doctors the right way forward. To ensure decisions are only ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 7 December 2011 - 12:19pm

A three hour trek round the craggy shore of Loch Muick is a treat the weary , care worn CEO needs! The Loch stands at the cap of the Glen Muick under the shadow of the dark Lochnagar. It has been snowing but the sun was out and the skies blue. We lunched at the bothy that was built by Queen Victoria as a retreat after Prince Albert died. Glas all Sheilt is a picturesque spot , as you see:

And clearly the Hound has discovered Scottish roots , see MacSparkles resplendent in her MacSparkle hunting tartan.

My own date back somewhat to my many times great grandfather , the Rev Thomas Somerville , who was evicted from his Anglican Church in Carnwath in 1692 by the wretched Presbies and fled with his family ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 6 December 2011 - 4:17pm

Well, the journey to the Highlands nearly proved eventful as we skidded in the car crossing the Grampians in a snow storm ! But it certainly looked scenic.

We are staying up the Dee from Balmoral and you can well see why Queen Victoria loved this part of Scotland. The views from the mountainsides of the Dee valley are spectacular. World beating vistas I say! And the Hound is having an excellent time. There was a scary " Fenton" moment when she went off chasing deer a la richmond park you tube clip, but a masterful CEO command brought her back ( well, eventually).

The mountain behind us is Craigendarroch and surrounded by ancient oaks and red scotch pine. And covered in a light coating of snow is all most agreeable. Anyway here are the pictures to bring some festive cheer!