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Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 16 April 2015 - 4:37pm

It’s been striking, in recent years, how often religious groups have led the response to the hardships of austerity. Even in the days of declining church attendance in Britain, groups like the Trussell Trust have galvanised society and led the third sector’s efforts to prevent and alleviate the worst effects of financial crisis.
So how appropriate it is to see my old friend the Rt Rev Dr Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London, writing in today’s Times about the new campaign he launches this evening with Tearfund.
Tearfund is a Christian charity - in their words, “Christians passionate about ending poverty”. The Bishop writes:
“Many of today’s global challenges have been brewing for many years and we should have seen them coming. Yet we have made the ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 8 April 2015 - 1:22pm

Did you spot the irony of that full page advert from business leaders supporting the Tory party to win the election?
I wonder whether the Lobbying Act prohibitions against 'non-party organisations and individuals' trying to influence public votes during the election period shouldn't also apply to those 100 company CEOs who released their overtly partisan letter in the Telegraph?  
I suspect many of them have spent far more than the registration threshold on supporting party election campaigning too?  I wonder how much tobacco companies are spending in fighting against plain packaging and who they are supporting?  What would have happened if charity leaders had done the same?  This is yet another instance of the outrage of the Lobbying act and how it doesn't affect Lobbying but does gag charities.  It has had an insidious effect on charity campaigning. There is no doubt that the act has quietening our voice.  This Act has to be repealed and ACEVO will continue its ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 2 April 2015 - 10:51am

So, it may be future directions for the country in May but it was "Future Directions" for me in Oldham yesterday.  I was there to help launch a brand new social enterprise, a spin out from the NHS, and providing community care and support for people with learning disabilities. It's certainly the future for people with learning disabilities and their families.  And I was delighted to be there to support ACEVO member Paula Braynion who from one minute past midnight became the latest third sector CEO.  Indeed she joins the CEO of English Heritage who has gone from being a quangocrat to a proper fully fledged third sector CEO. English Heritage has also spun out of the public sector to become a charity yesterday.  It's the future direction for the public sector!! Though whether there will be any money around to support them is a moot point as we look to spending plans that envisage large cuts whatever party you support (that's assuming the Greens and SNP don't form a new coalition ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 1 April 2015 - 12:58pm

At the heart of trendy Clerkenwell stands the ancient gateway of the Priory of St John. It may be cool now but in Dickens day this was a den of depravity.  The Priory has gone, falling foul of Thomas Cromwell, and the lovely church bombed in the Nazi Blitz. But it is still the home of St John's Ambulance and I was there to see Sue Killen, the CEO and ACEVO member. Great to get a tour of the old parts of the Priory still standing.  The photos show the place off so well and if you fancy getting married in a rather splendid environment - it's available for hire!


...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 30 March 2015 - 10:14am

Hurrah for charity shops!  I was in the Helen and Douglas House Hospice shop in Chipping Norton on Saturday - the top performing of the 30 plus shops the Hospice runs!  Well supplied by the "Chipping Norton set" its a rather good place to secure some up market goods at reasonable prices.  A Paul Smith suit in the window didn't fit, but a bargain at £150. Get there quick!  Of course, I'm not sure I'd actually want to know if the splendid tweed jacket I bought was from Jeremy Clarkson but perhaps it was a Cameron cast off?  They are both big supporters of the Hospice.
As indeed am I; I was persuaded by Angela, the Manager of the Chipping shop, to put up for a trustee position and I was appointed a trustee about 6 months ago.  I thought it would do me good to see governance from the other side, so to speak.  I've now been at 3 trustee meetings and found it all very revealing. There are challenges yes, but also opportunities for growth.  This was the very first children's hospice ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 27 March 2015 - 11:49am


Two weeks ago I was in Pakistan, a guest of the Muslim Charities Forum (MCF) and yesterday I joined colleagues at a press conference to report on that visit.  I went with 2 ACEVO members; Jehangir Malik, the CEO of Islamic Relief and Dr. Othman Moqbel, CEO of Human Appeal who were representing all the Ceos of the MCF.
The objectives of this visit were:
1. To show solidarity with the MCF at a time when they face unprecedented challenges to their work and demonstrate a leadership role for ACEVO in standing up for members working to build community leadership in the Muslim community in the UK.
2.  To see for ourselves how the MCF charities work on the ground in ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 26 March 2015 - 4:04pm

Last night I went to the Muslim News Awards in Grosvenor Square; a grand occasion that brings together many of the leaders of our country's Muslim community.  A time of celebration but also of reflection as many in that community feel they must battle prejudice and intolerance.  Many good ACEVO members there and ACEVO has been proud to show solidarity with them as they battle to provide the services and community leadership we all need.

I have recently returned from Pakistan with members of the Muslim Charity Forum, where I have seen for myself the work they do and discussed the challenges they face.  Later this afternoon I will join colleagues in a Press Conference at The ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 25 March 2015 - 4:29pm

A great Hustings last night at Church House with the 5 parties (the 3 main plus UKIP and the Greens) delivering their Party's view of the sector.

All very civilised; but then we are charity leaders, so we are polite. Indeed even UKIP got a fair hearing (though a few titters at some of the more "interesting" remarks). Nothing much of a revelation in terms of policies. Good questions from the floor.  An obvious one on the mystery of the missing £40m sustainability fund. Rob Wilson failed to reveal (said they were still working on it).  An interesting response on the issue of bank accounts for Muslim charities from UKIP who indicated the State should intervene.
The hated Lobbying Act was a ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 25 March 2015 - 4:29pm

A great Hustings last night at Church House with the 5 parties (the 3 main plus UKIP and the Greens) delivering their Party's view of the sector.

All very civilised; but then we are charity leaders, so we are polite. Indeed even UKIP got a fair hearing (though a few titters at some of the more "interesting" remarks). Nothing much of a revelation in terms of policies. Good questions from the floor.  An obvious one on the mystery of the missing £40m sustainability fund. Rob Wilson failed to reveal (said they were still working on it).  An interesting response on the issue of bank accounts for Muslim charities from UKIP who indicated the State should intervene.
The hated Lobbying Act was a ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 19 March 2015 - 1:16pm

So, the Budget. And the missing £40m. It’s disgraceful that the Local Sustainability Fund still hasn’t been launched, more than a year after it was first announced. This idea - promoted by ACEVO and agreed by OCS under Nick Hurd - has been quietly dropped for now. They hoped quietly but I intend to ensure there is nothing quiet about this manoeuvre. Of course we suspect why this has happened. The idea that you need a ‘sustainability fund’ implies there are many charities in danger from funding cuts and rising demand for their services. This does not fit the current narrative of the ruling coalition. I suspect the hand of Lynton Crosby in excising this particular ‘barnacle’ from the budget speech ‘boat’.

So will Rob, our civil society minister, now stand up for the sector and insist on the fund going ahead? We have only a week before purdah. I’m hoping that Rob will set the record straight at our ACEVO ...more