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Dorothy Parkes Community Centre Jumble Sale

Come and join Dorothy Parkes Community Centre for a good old fashioned rumble in the jumble sale at the Centre on Saturday 26th January 2019. Stall holders will be selling clothes, toys & bric-a-brac at bargain prices.

The Centre will have some tables selling donated goods with all proceeds going to the Centre to support their community activities. We are accepting donations of clothes, toys & bric-a-brac.

Please note that doors will open at 2pm and close at 4pm.

There are a limited number of tables for sale and they are selling fast (priced at £7.50). Please complete their online booking form and make payment via their website –

If you’d like to find out more contact the Dorothy Parkes Centre on 0121 558 2998 for more details.

Check the Financial Information in Your Annual Return

The Charity Commission recently checked the accuracy of the annual return figures for 3 different sizes of charity, each sample having just over 100 organisations in them.

They found that:

  • 89% of charities with incomes over £25,000 reported accurate income and expenditure figures in their annual returns, compared with just over 60% for charities below the accounts filing threshold for most charities of £25,000
  • just over 80% of charities with incomes over £500,000 reported accurate income and/or expenditure analyses, compared with more than 95% for their balance sheet and charitable funds analyses

Input error (picking the wrong figures out of the accounts) appeared to be the most common reason for inaccurate annual return figures.

To avoid this happening make sure that a person who is familiar with the charity accounts checks the financial information you’ll submit in your annual return.

All the recent charity accounts monitoring reviews are available on their website.

Source: Charity Commission Newsletter

If We Don’t Support Small, Small Can’t Support Us

Lizzie Walmsley, head of communications at the Small Charities Coalition, argues that smaller charities deserve more support.

97 per cent of charities have an income of less than £1m, but they share 20 per cent of the money that goes to the sector

I probably quote this statistic at least 10 times a week. I tell stakeholders who tell me that there’s a problem with trust in the sector, small charities who think they’re alone and sometimes I mention it on Twitter. As the editor of this publication highlighted, I’m actually wrong. This is a statistic used for ease but the truth is, with an estimated 200,000 unregistered “micro charities” in the UK, the figure is more like 99 per cent.

You could make the argument that this statistic is used to show that small charities should grow their income and become ‘big’. But that is not my intention or why I make myself sound like a parrot week after week.

74 per cent of charities in England and Wales turn over less than £100,000. As a helpful tweeter calculated, even if you took the 123,230 charities in England and Wales who have an income of £100,000 or less and gave them each a £50,000 gift, there would be an additional £6bn between them and yet they would all still be small.

I work for the Small Charities Coalition, a membership organisation representing over 9,000 small charities, not only giving them greater representation, but also providing a number of vital services including a support line, training and mentoring. I’m incredibly proud to champion the work of all small charities, registered and unregistered, across the country.

I am also supportive of our member’s growth ambitions – some are the perfect size for what they want to achieve and their ambitions are to maintain their small but vital purpose. Some want to grow slightly bigger, others want to merge with bigger organisations, many just want to be financially stronger and a minority have huge growth goals that they will one day no longer be small. They’re all part of the ecology of the rich civil society in which they exist.

To read the full article click here.

Source: Civil Society

What do you think? Your views needed on new EU exit information website

Leaving the EU means a number of changes that will affect organisations and individual citizens. The Government has developed a website to give information on how to prepare and the steps organisations and individuals may need to take.

We are really keen to get some initial feedback on the quality and user-friendliness of the content. Please record your feedback in this two minute survey, your views on the website will influence any improvements, so a swift response would be appreciated. Please feel free to skip any questions that you do not feel apply to your organisation.

We are keen to hear from civil society organisations and those that work with them to make sure that the information on the website information reflects your needs.

Thank you for your support.

If you have any questions, please contact Ruth Verrall ( at the Cabinet Office.

Charities Welcome Call for Digital Wills System

Government body looking at reducing tax complexity is calling for the creation of a digital system to better manage inheritance tax and will making.

The government should create a digital system for inheritance tax and will management, according to the Treasury office tasked with reducing complexities in the tax system.

The Office of Tax Simplification’s first report from its review of inheritance tax says that the management of wills would be made easier with a “fully integrated digital system for inheritance tax” put in place.

This should “ideally include the ability to complete and submit a probate application” adds the report, which adds that “regulating the will writing market would help improve the administration process”.

Remember a Charity, a partnership of around 200 charities, has welcomed the report and backed its calls to make the management of estates and legacy donations easier.

“Ultimately, a more straight-forward inheritance tax system should make it easier for people’s estates to be handled promptly, efficiently and for relevant discounts or exemptions on charitable wills to be applied,” said Remember a Charity director Rob Cope.

“We welcome steps to reduce the administrative burden for everyone; the public, professional advisers and executors, which of course includes many charities too.

Need for clear and consistent processes

He added: “The need for clear and consistent processes has never been greater. The public needs to have choice about who and what they support from their will and the confidence to ensure that their final wishes will indeed be met.”

“With both the national Inheritance Tax structure and will-writing framework currently under review, the devil will be in the detail of future announcements as to whether the fiscal incentives will be maintained and how will-writing processes may evolve. We continue to appeal to government representatives to ensure that any changes will continue to encourage and promote charitable legacies.”

According to Remember A Charity legacy gifts contribute the largest single source of voluntary income to the charity sector, generating around £3bn for good causes each year.

Source: Charity Digital News

Hateley Cross Big Local Partnership

Hateley Cross Big Local Partnership group are supporting the 3 primary schools Hall Green, Hateley Heath and St John Bosco Catholic in our areas of Hateley Heath and Stone Cross, West Bromwich.

Hateley Cross Big Local Partnership group wanted to ensure that young people aspirations raised, involved with their communities, feel valued and there are reasons [and places] for people to come together. A three year funding application was created for local primary schools to apply for.

We are one of 150 Big Local areas across the country that are quietly bringing about a revolution in how neighbourhoods and communities are supported to change.

Everything we are planning over the next 3 years is in order to achieve the following national Big Local outcomes:

1. Communities will be better able to identify local needs and take action in
response to them.

2. People will have increased skills and confidence so that they can continue to
identify and respond to local needs in the future.

3. The community will make a difference to the needs it prioritises.

4. People will feel that their area is an even better place to live.

We have processed all schools allocation for Year One to deliver their proposed projects for the two strands of the Hateley Cross Big Local 2018-2021 plan which are:

Inspired People:

We will create opportunities for people to get involved with our neighbourhood, get to know each other, develop as individuals and help create a community where people belong – especially for those who feel excluded.

Great Places:

We will work with SMBC and others to support the provision of good quality, clean and safe spaces for our community to use. We will encourage and support people to become involved in the design, development and management of active community spaces.

The examples of projects that the schools will be producing over the next three years will include:
Environmental:  To develop an awareness and respect for the environment – developing new outdoor area and garden to develop a forest area space, growing fruit and vegetables


To expand pupils vision and raise their aspirations – Promote the process of applying for jobs & running workshops e.g. learning to cook, caring for animals, etc.  STEM projects – Science, technology, engineering and maths
To raise aspirations through reading, bringing local authors into the school

We have presented St John Bosco school in Hateley Heath and Hateley Heath Primary School with their cheques to facilitate the projects. We look forward to coming back in 2019 to see the new projects take fruition.

For more information about the Hateley Cross Big Local Partnership please contact Marc Pearson:

Office: 0121 544 1230
Mobile: 07701355520

Charities SORP Open for Consultation

The Charity Commission have launched a consultation to seek views on how best to reform the process for developing the Charities Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP), and to make recommendations for any necessary changes to ensure the SORP remains fit for the future.

The consultation will run until 4 February 2019, with responses published by 30 April 2019.

This follows the recent expansion of the SORP-making body that sets the framework for charity financial reporting to incorporate the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland with the Charities Regulatory Authority for the Republic of Ireland as observer.

The SORP-making body welcomes feedback to explore changes to the way the Charities SORP is developed, to ensure it continues to serve the information needs of those with an interest in the charity sector and the sector itself.

Judith Hayhow, Head of Support Services at the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator said:

“If the Charities SORP isn’t right, the accounts that charities produce won’t be right for those who need to use them. That’s why we as regulators are committed to opening up and inviting feedback on the way in which the SORP is developed.”

You can have your say by clicking here.

Source: FSI

Charities Not Embracing Digital Identity Checking – Report

Charities are reluctant to use digital technology to improve their ‘weak’ systems for checking the identity of staff, volunteers and service users, according to a study.

The study by digital identity app Yoti found that awareness of digital identity technology among UK charities is low.

Many do not see it as relevant, even though checking the identity of staff, volunteers and services users is a vital part of their work.

A particular concern raised is a reluctance to use digital identification among charities that need to carry out criminal records checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service. This is despite many admitting that their existing systems of checking are poor.

“The need for digital identity solutions were most apparent to those verifying the legal identity of beneficiaries or undertaking DBS checks regularly for staff and volunteers,” states the study.

It adds: “Many of the charities checking legal identity recognised that their processes here were weak but very few were exploring digital identity solutions, or even saw them as an organisational priority.”

Instead of prioritising digital identification much of charities’ technology focus is on fundraising, developing a digital strategy, digital transformation, training and using technology to improve face to face contact with beneficiaries.

Lack of skills a barrier

Many see their lack of knowledge and skills as a barrier to putting in place digital identification.

“They felt that their internal systems were too complicated to change and that digital identity solutions were too advanced to integrate with their current technology. They were also concerned about staff skills, connectivity and their own access to technology,” states the study.

Lack of time and capacity as well as staff costs were other barriers to putting in place digital identification systems among charities.

Research took place between August and October and involved 33 charitable organisations, four digital agencies and 11 support sector organisations across the UK.

The findings from the research are being added to Yoti’s onging social impact strategy, which is looking at the challenges faced in the not for profit sector around identity checks.

Source: Charity Digital News

Civil Society Futures: Final Report Published

Civil Society Futures is a two-year independent inquiry into the future of civil society in England, the first major inquiry of its kind for over two decades.

It has engaged more than 3,000 people in debate about civil society and their hopes for its future through hundreds of workshops, meetings, events, blogs and academic research — what have they said?

The Story of Our Times: shifting power, bridging divides, transforming society.

The final report identified four areas (PACT) which are in need of major changes to ensure that charities and other civil society organisations increase accountability to their beneficiaries:

  • Power: there needs to be a shift so that decisions involve everyone.
  • Accountability: organisations need to be accountable to the communities they serve.
  • Connections: broader and deeper connections are needed within and between communities.
  • Trust: trust in organisations needs to be built and earned in line with their values.

The Summary report can be viewed by clicking here.

Source: Civil Society

Big Lottery Fund 2019 Surgery Sessions

Are you seeking funding from the Big Lottery Fund?
Do you want to talk over a project idea before applying?
Thinking of applying to the Big Lottery Fund but do not know where to start or which of their funding programmes to apply for?

SCVO in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund are running a series of monthly surgery sessions, on the second Monday of the month, from 10am until 4pm at SCVO’s Offices, 1st Floor Landchard House, Victoria Street, West Bromwich, B70 8ER.

The Lottery’s Grants Officer will be available for booked appointments to discuss potential project ideas, their grant programmes and how to apply.

Future dates for the surgery sessions include:

  • Monday 11th February 2019 – Limited Slots Available,
  • Monday 11th March 2019,
  • Monday 8th April 2019,
  • Monday 10th June 2019,
  • Monday 8th July 2019,
  • Monday 12th August 2019,
  • Monday 9th September 2019,
  • Monday 14th October 2019,
  • Monday 11th November 2019 and
  • Monday 9th December 2019.

Prior to your appointment with the Grants Officer please view their current Funding Programmes and their video on putting people in the lead.

If you are interested in taking advantage of this unique opportunity and want to book your time slot with The Big Lottery Fund please email Libby at or call on 0121 5251127 to avoid disappointment.

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