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New Shared Lives Scheme thriving

It is a little over two years since national charity, Camphill Village Trust, decided to add Shared Lives to their already established Stourbridge community in the Black Country. In this time, the new scheme has gone from strength to strength, networking closely with other community-based organisations to gain momentum.

Shared Lives is still a relatively unknown model of care that is similar to foster care, where specially trained Carers open up their home and support people with additional/complex needs to lead as independent life as possible and stay connected with the local community. Currently, there are approximately 14,000 people being supported the UK in this way.

The scheme is nearly a full year into the new contract and has already set up 11 Arrangements, receiving over 60 enquiries with a variety of additional support needs from learning disability, autism, mental ill health, through to older people and hospital discharges.

Shared Lives offers opportunity for those people with the right values and commitment to develop a social care career and earn up to £29K annually as a self-employed Carer. It is a rewarding role which challenges the assumptions of what can be achieved within an ordinary family home.

If people wish to find out more about how the scheme is developing, please contact Kate Morgan on 01384 441505 or

Follow Shared Lives on twitter @CVTSharedLives.

Creative Black Country Expands to Include Dudley

Creative Black Country has been awarded £1,403,154 of National Lottery funding through Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places programme (CPP) to expand its current CPP activity to include Dudley, in partnership with Black Country Living Museum and Dudley Council for Voluntary Service.

Black Country Together has led the Creative Black Country CPP project in Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton since 2015, with Arts Council investment of almost £4.5 million to date. Since then it has been producing creative events, performances and activities bringing inspirational cultural experiences to thousands of local people.

This includes the Creative Communities and Open Access programmes that support community groups to experience the arts and produce their own events; Funny Things comedy programme celebrating Black Country humour; and the 100 Masters campaign raising the profile of expertise, innovation and craftsmanship. It also includes the unique Desi Pubs partnership between artists and pub landlords, which helped redefine pub culture in the Black Country, reinventing the traditional handcrafted pub sign using Punjabi text.

Arts and culture have a significant role to play in building thriving villages, towns and cities, bringing people together and making them proud of where they work and live. Creative People and Places allows more people to choose, create and take part in arts and cultural activity – encouraging long-term collaboration between local people, artists and partners, and embedding lasting change in communities.

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “Arts and culture make the places we live vibrant and exciting, entertaining and inspiring, benefiting our wellbeing and helping local economies.

“This National Lottery investment in Creative Black Country will see the team build on their achievements so far, with great work such as the Desi Pubs projects and 100 Masters, ensuring more people across Dudley and the Black Country can take part in and enjoy creativity in their communities.”

Creative Director of CBC, Parminder Dosanjh, said: “We are over the moon. Expanding to Dudley feels like a natural step; the prospect of working as a regional programme in the Black Country is hugely exciting and we look forward to local residents benefitting from the investment.

“We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Black Country Living Museum and Dudley Council for Voluntary Service, who will play an instrumental role in supporting the expansion programme going forward.”

Creative Black Country is one of 12 successful arts projects to receive a share of almost £17.5 million National Lottery funding to create arts and cultural experiences in areas across England where people tend to engage less with arts and culture. These twelve projects, part of the Creative People and Places programme, will take place between 2019-2023 and will be co-created with their local communities.

Andy Gray, Chief Executive of Dudley Council for Voluntary Service, said: “We’re delighted to work with Creative Black Country to build audiences and bring more opportunities to the people of Dudley. We’re looking forward to supporting communities across the Borough to create and choose the arts activities and experiences that are right for them. We’re confident Dudley will rise to the occasion and really get involved.”


Centre secures £78,812 youth funding from Children in Need!

The Dorothy Parkes Centre in Smethwick has been allocated a three-year grant of £78,812 to provide a weekly youth club and holiday activities for disadvantaged children and young people facing poverty and deprivation locally. Through the programme of support the project aims to build the young people’s life skills and improve their overall health and wellbeing whilst increasing their confidence and self-esteem for the future.

Robert Bruce, Chief Executive Officer at Dorothy Parkes Centre, commented on the funding award, saying: “This funding really will go on to make a positive impact on the lives of disadvantaged children and young people locally.  Through engaging with enjoyable social activities their skills and confidence levels will improve, helping them to feel happier and more empowered for a positive and fulfilled future. Thank you, BBC Children in Need.”

The youth club, for those aged 11 – 18, will be launched in September and will be led by a Senior Youth Worker supported by sessional Youth Workers. Details regarding the day and time of the club will be released soon.

Source: Dorothy Parkes Community

Charity Tax Commission: Tax Reforms Could Boost Charities and Unlock Wave of Giving

New tax rules and more Gift Aid awareness could bring charities 100s of millions/year

Universal donor database and encouraging Payroll Giving would boost funds further

No review of charity tax reliefs in 20 years despite digital revolution

Tax reliefs offered to UK charities urgently need an overhaul, according to a new report from a group led by the former chairman of the Inland Revenue (later HMRC).

Taken together, its proposals would ensure giving is made easier while charities increase their income by 100s of millions a year and spend less on unnecessary admin.

Sir Nicholas Montagu, chairman of the independent Charity Tax Commission, has said that changes to the rules surrounding Gift Aid – where the taxman adds 25p to every pound given – and other reforms could incentivise giving and offer financial protection to UK charities and those who depend on them.

Speaking ahead of the publication of a new report on charity taxation, Sir Nicholas said:

It’s been 20 years since charity tax reliefs were last reviewed, and many of the rules were written for an analogue era. With people giving by text message and contactless payment, and with many donors themselves increasingly mobile, we need a system fit for the digital age if we are not to see the UK’s natural generosity held back.

The Charity Tax Commission’s recommendations could help bring the tax treatment for charitable giving into the 21st Century and result in a huge increase in the amount of money available for good causes.

Yet none of these proposals should involve significant extra public spending or lost revenue. It’s the right time to get on with this.

The independent commission was convened by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) in 2017 and is today, Wednesday 17 July 2019, launching its findings and recommendations.

It says that while top earners can use their self-assessment forms to claim back the additional income tax they have paid on money they give, many choose not to, while others opt not to pass it on to their chosen cause.

To improve this, one of the commission’s most eye-catching proposals is to enable higher rate tax payers to pass their tax relief onto their chosen charities more easily, potentially raising at least £250m more for good causes every year.

To read the full  NCVO article click here.

Source: NCVO

Charity Tax Commission Releases Full Report

In October 2017 NCVO established an independent Charity Tax Commission to undertake a full review of the impact of the tax system on charities. The commission was chaired by Sir Nicholas Montagu, a former chair of the Inland Revenue, who was joined by a board of six commissioners with extensive charity, economic and fiscal expertise. NCVO provided secretariat support for the commission.

The commission published its report in July 2019. Read the press release which includes a short summary of the commission’s recommendations by clicking here.

To read the full NCVO article click here.

Source: NCVO

How Your Charity Can Punch Above its Weight on Instagram

Almost everyone’s at least heard of Instagram. But perhaps you’re not sure how to best use it for your charity, especially if you’re a smaller organisation with fewer resources.

This is a timely topic of conversation; next week is Small Charity Week, organised by the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI). The Small Charities Coalition (SCC) is using the week to launch their Big Support Small campaign, where they’re encouraging charities of different sizes to work together to have a powerful impact.

This got me thinking on how larger organisations such as where I work, the Charities Aid Foundation, can help. In our 2019 Charity Landscape report it was revealed that 86% of charities with an annual income below £1m are trying to boost social media engagement or are planning on doing so in the next 12 months.

I know that 91% of charities are run by volunteers and have limited budgets. So, with this in mind, I wanted to share this quick and easy guide for small charity full of free advice on how to get up and running on Instagram.

Let’s start with some juicy stats:

  • Instagram is the second most engaged with the network after Facebook
  • There are 1 billion monthly active users and 25 million business profiles
  • Users like 4.2 billion posts per day
  • There are 95 million posts per day and 500 million stories a day

And most importantly: it’s your chance to tell your story and reach donors, volunteers and advocates.

To read the full Charity Digital News article click here.

Source: Charity Digital News

Instagram Launches Donation Stickers for Charities

Charities and their supporters in the UK can now create 24-hour fundraising campaigns in Instagram Stories using a new Instagram donation sticker with 100% of the money raised going to the charity concerned.

Any Instagram user who views the fundraiser can click on the donation sticker to give to the charity without ever leaving Instagram. There are currently an estimated 24 million Instagram users in the UK.

To read the full Charity Digital News article click here.

Source: Charity Digital News

The Best Online Fundraising Platforms for Charities

There has been an explosion in the number of dedicated online fundraising plaforms for fundraising, letting charities and their supporters quickly and effectively raise money. But not all of them are free to use, or as cost effective for charities.

JustGiving was one of the first online fundraising platforms, having collected over £4 billion for charities since its launch in 2001. As of March 2019, the company waived its 5% platform fee in favour of donors making a voluntary contribution in support of the platform’s operations.

The other go-to platform, Virgin Money Giving, has helped 14,000 UK charities and 890,000 fundraisers raise more than £685 million online. However it charges a £150 fee to register.

Charity Digital News has purposely listed some of the lesser-known platforms that charities may not know about, to give a broader view on the online fundraising landscape. These alternatives platforms often have different donation models, are aimed at different types of fundraising and often take a much smaller cut from donations and do not charge a subscription fee.

Click here to got to Charity Digital News free guide to choosing fundraising software.

Source: Charity Digital News

Public Backs Tighter Social Media Moderation

The general public wants social media firms to do more to tackle concerns about online harm facing young and vulnerable people.

A report by think tank Demos, called Quality Control, found that 59 per cent of adults believe that social media content should be edited by moderators to help tackle harmful material.

Almost half of those who want to see tougher social media moderation believe the move would help reduce self-harm and suicide and the proliferation of ‘fake news’. Around a third believe it would help combat other mental health conditions, and tackle terrorism.

Last month a call was issued to government to ensure charities are at the heart of efforts to improve online safety. Charity consultancy New Philanthropy Capital wants ministers to be more collaborative with the voluntary sector to ensure users are protected online.

The government has unveiled plans in its Online Harms White Paper to set up an independent regulator for the online sector and place a duty of care on firms to protect users.

Earlier this year children’s charity NSPCC revealed that nine out of ten parents back the creation of a regulator for social network firms.

Instagram is among social media platforms to have already taken action to tackle online bullying by using artificial intelligence technology to generate a notification to people that their comment may be considered offensive.

To read the full Charity Digital News article click here.

Source: Charity Digital News

Thought You Were Done on Safeguarding?

The Charity Commission has finally published its Oxfam inquiry report, and it has been well and truly chewed over.

Much of the focus, rightly, has been on organisational culture, and whether Oxfam’s leadership since 2011 fostered an environment that prioritised the organisation’s public image and revenue streams over people’s safety and wellbeing. See Civil Society news analysis for views on this by clicking here.

But equally if not more important for the sector was the report of the independent commission appointed by Oxfam International to review its safeguarding practices. Since the scandal broke in February last year, Oxfam had already massively increased its safeguarding budget, hired a safeguarding associate director at Oxfam International and a director of safeguarding at Oxfam GB. It had updated all its relevant policies, enhanced its induction procedures, introduced a new performance management process and provided training across the organisation. Yet the independent commission has effectively dismissed all that as mere tinkering, and said the organisation needed to completely “reinvent” its entire safeguarding system across its international network.

To read the full Civil Society article click here.

Source: Civil Society

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