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Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 27 August 2015 - 9:52am

Had a great lunch yesterday with David Halpern, the CEO of the behavioural insight unit.  Better known as the nudge experts, they have been responsible for some fascinating  innovations in the way our public services work.  David is publishing a book on the theory of nudge next week.  Get it.  I shall. 
They have been responsible for some in depth work on how to nudge people to give.  And today they are publishing some new research on giving and health.  And it shows that spending money on other people is good for your heart!  
Giving generously lowers high blood pressure, an ailment that contributes to the deaths of an estimated 7.5 million people prematurely worldwide each year.

This remarkable effect that being unselfish with money has on health was discovered by a team of psychologists that ran two studies among older adults with high blood pressure.

The first involved 186 people living in the United States who were aged between 55 and 74 and suffered ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 20 August 2015 - 9:50am

The debate around leadership at the Kids Company has revolved around charismatic leadership and whether this is enough.  As I said on the Today programme when the story broke charisma is good and indeed many of our great charity leader are both charismatic and  passionate, but when it is not coupled with sound administration and governance it can be disastrous.
Charisma is one of those things that we are supposed to fall for and admire.  God-given grace and charm is magical, not to be sniffed at.  Or is it?
I was fascinated to see that the dear old BBC Radio 4 is about to embark on a series about it in many walks of life, ranging from St Paul to Sarah Bernhardt and into the 21st century.  And I thought I'd reproduce the blurb from the BBC website to provoke thought on this. Franc one Stock writes,
 "Charisma is an external force of nature: confidence, charm, power, "quick-thinkingness", combined with physical impressiveness. The more I thought about it, the more ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 10 August 2015 - 9:36am

Kids Company – a watershed moment?

It’s not David Cameron or indeed Gordon Brown’s fault that Kids Company has gone under. Indeed I applaud them for their instincts in wanting to support a charity they knew was working at the front line with vulnerable kids not reached or known by local authorities. But politicians, the charity sector and the public must learn the lessons from what has happened – and support charities that provide crucial services properly.

Kids Company is an important case in point. Their founder, Camilla Batmangeilidh was a wonderful character but she was also clear on one thing: the frontline was where the money had to go. She was very opposed to spending on overheads as she thought all the money must go out to her kids. This is a noble idea but if you take the time to view their publically available accounts their overhead costs are alarmingly low – way below what any sustainable organisation should expect. When you couple that with rapid, ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 20 July 2015 - 4:00pm

David Cameron's five year plan to tackle extremism must focus on curtailing demonisation and promoting engagement with communities.

In a recent letter to Home Secretary Theresa May, I warned that the group and individual banning orders to be introduced in forthcoming legislation could be counter-productive and hinder rather than help the fight against extremism. I argued that the key weapon in the fight against radicalisation will be to harness the often unsung civic spirit represented by the work of the 1,200 plus Islamic charities in the country.
The Prime Minister has hit the nail on the head today in identifying “the overshadowing of moderate Muslim voices" and “failures of integration” as central elements of the radicalisation that has so far taken place.
Speaking on the Today programme this morning former MI5 chief Eliza Manningham-Buller said that talk of one central Muslim identity and community is misguided, rather that there are hundreds and thousands of ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 17 July 2015 - 12:36pm

Michael Gove has wasted no time at all in pushing ahead with reforms since taking over at the Ministry of Justice.  So far, he has lifted the petty and silly prison book restrictions.  Well done on that.
In a speech today, Gove will focus on the role of education in rehabilitating prisoner s<http://politicshomecom.cmail20.com/t/t-l-irhhjjy-irdhuysk-c/>. 
“No government serious about building one nation, no minister concerned with greater social justice, can be anything other than horrified by our persistent failure to reduce re-offending.  In prisons there is a - literally - captive population whose inability to read properly or master basic mathematics makes them prime candidates for re-offending...The failure to teach our prisoners a proper lesson is indefensible.  I fear the reason for that ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 16 July 2015 - 4:43pm

I wonder how many papers will carry the report of the inquest into the tragic death of Olive Cook.  Will the Daily Mail splash this on its front pages?
This is what was said re charity fundraising,
"But her family insisted that - while the letters and phone calls were intrusive - the charities were not to blame for Mrs Cooke's death".
How does this square with media coverage and some politicians comments?  Of course it is right to review how we fund-raise. And it is right to look particularly at how outsourcing calls work as this is not always done to the highest ethical standards.  Bad fundraising practice harms all charities.  ACEVO has asked its CEO members in the fundraising charities to review what they are doing.  That is a right thing to do and it's the right time to do it.  But some of the more OTT comments about a "crisis" are wide of the mark.  And it is perhaps questionable why this issue is being pursued so vehemently in some papers.  Surely it couldn't ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 14 July 2015 - 10:02am

7 months ago I produced my independent review on the failure of Government and the NHS to implement their promise to close all Winterbourne style institutions.  I made a number of recommendations.  I was also asked by NHS England to review progress after 6 months and then after a year.  I have just concluded my 6 month review and its published today.

I think the main messages are in my foreword so let me report that here:

Winterbourne View - Time is Running Out: ForewordWhen Winterbourne View – Time for Change was published in November 2014, still more people with learning disabilities and/or autism were being admitted to inpatient facilities than being discharged. This is despite a promise from Government to close institutions such as Winterbourne View. Time for Change has been widely supported but I understood the deep scepticism of people with learning disabilities and/or autism and their families that anything would actually change. I am acutely aware that we do ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 2 July 2015 - 11:18am

The National Trust is one our country's most loved charities and yesterday I was having an NT day by visiting two of their much loved houses, Greenway and Coleton Fishacre.  Greenway is a stunning Georgian house set into the wooded hills overlooking the Dart river, just downstream from Dartmouth.  The best way to arrive as did my brother, father and old fiend John, is to take the ferry up river and get off at the Greenway landing.  This old house was the much loved home of Agatha Christie and was gifted to the NT by the daughter and grandson of Dame Agatha.  It contains much of the contents of the house as it was in her day. You can walk into her bedroom and still hear her talking (an old radio interview playing from a Roberts radio!).  Clever lot the NT. 
...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 30 June 2015 - 5:52pm

Assiduous readers of the Blog will realise it's that time of year again, when the Bubb's decamp en mass to Hope Cove in Devon.  I'm here for a long weekend with my siblings, parents and assorted nephews and nieces.  Hope Cove is a gorgeous spot, an idyllic fishing village surrounded by the rolling lush hills of the Devon countryside.  The cliffs are particular spectacular and what's more, they are third sector cliffs.  Owned by the National Trust, which is one of our most treasured environmental charities.

...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 29 June 2015 - 12:45pm

The recent attention given to fundraising has acted as a wake up call for us to sort out the best possible standards for what we do in asking for money from the public.
I have been spending time consulting my CEO members about how we tackle the issues raised in parts of the media about fundraising practices. ACEVO convened a particularly good breakfast  round table at the Charities Aid Foundation with senior CEOs which helped clarify the actions we need to take. Of course not all my members do public fundraising, many do small amounts, and some of our bigger best loved charities like the Red Cross, BHF, Macmillan and  cancer research charities for example do a lot.
A general consensus has emerged that, while this is not a crisis, we must treat this seriously. As David McCullough of RVS commented , the age of deference is over and people/media are more happy to have a go at institutions of all sorts. It is also clear that there has been no impact in terms of giving and ...more