The Charity Commission has launched a new set of simple, easy to understand guides to help trustees
The Charity Commission, the charity regulator for England and Wales, has launched a new set of simple, easy to understand guides, designed to help trustees run their charities in line with the law.
The new guides cover five key aspects of charity management – a ‘core syllabus’ covering the basics that the regulator expects all trustees to be aware of.
They explain the basics of:
- financial oversight
- achieving a charity’s purposes
- good decision making
- addressing conflicts of interest
- what to file with the Commission and what support is available
This ‘gateway’ level guidance will make it easier and quicker for all trustees to check what is expected and to find more detailed information if needed, which is all the more important as charities respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Commission’s research and testing with trustees have helped shape their design and content.
The publications come as part of the Commission’s programme, outlined in its 2020/21 Business Plan, to deliver updated core guidance and an improved website, so that it is easier for trustees, who are overwhelmingly unpaid volunteers, to access the information they need. This is in line with the Commission’s strategic priority of ensuring trustees have the tools and understanding they need to succeed, and helping them maximise the difference they make.
The new tools have been launched to coincide with Trustees’ Week, the annual celebration of charity trustees and the contribution they make to society.
Charity’s evolving strategy aims to reach more farming people.
With 2020 bringing ever greater levels of uncertainty and unexpected changes, pressures on the farming community continue to grow. As part of a new package of services designed to assist people deal with these complex challenges, RABI is launching an online wellbeing community and counselling service for farming people across England and Wales on 19 October.
Against a backdrop of continuing strains and demands, this new online initiative is a significant step in RABI’s plans to evolve its services, to better meet the changing needs of farming people.
“We know that farmers have continued to face exceptionally difficult times. Managing mental wellbeing and maintaining good mental health has emerged as one of the most significant issues facing our sector, which is already known for its higher than average levels of stress, depression, anxiety, and suicide,” says Alicia Chivers, RABI’s Chief Executive.
“Our aim is to make a real difference to the farming community that RABI has been dedicated to for the past 160 years. We believe early intervention and one-to-one support are essential to ensuring good mental health and tackling the root causes of poor wellbeing. We believe that providing confidential, easily accessible, free online support can make a real difference to a wide audience.”
The initiative features two distinct sites – Qwell.io/rabi for adults, while Kooth.com/rabi is tailored to those aged 11-17. These safe and confidential online platforms are being delivered in partnership with a specialist online mental health provider. The websites include dedicated farmer friendly content that addresses farming sector specific challenges such as loneliness, Brexit anxiety, animal health and crop disease and farm debt.
Users will be able to anonymously access farmer specific and more generic content, as well as a wealth of discussion boards, case studies and messaging functions. There are many tools, such as a journal to record and track progress against personal goals, as well as tips and articles.
In addition, all users can access one-to-one counselling support from BACP recognised, qualified professionals through a chat function. The practitioners are trained in different forms of counselling, allowing them to meet individual needs and preferences.
“No one should take mental wellbeing for granted. We believe offering practical support through these sites is a constructive and hugely positive step forwards. It forms a key aspect of RABI’s ambitious five-year strategy that will extend our offering to a broader audience. We understand the issues that farmers face and really care about finding and developing tools that can assist. Our role is to offer encouragement so people can access the services they need, early enough to make a difference, hopefully preventing them from reaching crisis point,” continues Alicia.
“We also need to initiate frank and honest discussions throughout agriculture to tackle this complex subject. Therefore, we are also reaching out to numerous stakeholders and organisations, who I hope will join us by raising awareness more widely and amplifying these important messages.”
“The launch of the online wellbeing community is a significant step towards achieving our vision that ‘no farmer should ever face adversity alone,’” concludes Alicia.
To access the online counselling platform, visit the RABI website: https://rabi.org.uk/kooth
A case study from Tenovus Cancer Care, part of our #CharityShopVolunteersWales campaign in partnership with the Charity Retail Association.
‘Whatever people say, having cancer is completely life changing. The experience left me with absolute fear for my future, and in the early stages I struggled to think about anything else. I was silly because I didn’t tell anyone, and because I kept my hair for a good part of the treatment I didn’t need to tell anyone.
‘I’d read about Tenovus Cancer Care in a leaflet given at a radiotherapy open evening for patients and their families. Their support was superb and the timing of it was great. I’ve been able to put things into perspective, overcome my fear and face the future more positively.
‘I decided to start volunteering at my local Tenovus Cancer Care shop in Mumbles once a week. I met the team in September last year, saw how it all worked, learnt their procedures and started to feel really good about it.
‘I’d only been volunteering for a few months when the Coronavirus pandemic came along and the shop was forced to close. The whole team managed to keep in touch through a group chat though which was brilliant for lifting each other’s spirits at times.
‘Being told the shop was able to reopen in early August was great. I was looking forward to volunteering again and spent my first week back cleaning and installing personal protective equipment. Our winter range was still on display so it was a real team effort to get the shop ready for customers.
‘Mumbles is a small town with a lovely community and working in the local charity shop means I get to feel like a bigger part of it. The regular customers are already coming back to see us and it’s nice to have those catch-up conversations at the till point.
‘Keeping busy is a good distraction from anything, and being in the shop is an absolute tonic. I volunteer with a great bunch of people and if I’m feeling down they are a joy to be around. I’ve been given so much by Tenovus Cancer Care and volunteering is going to be a good way of giving something back.’
This week (from 12 October 2020) WCVA in partnership with the Charity Retail Association will be sharing the stories of charity shop volunteers in Wales. Keep an eye on WCVA’s website and social media (where we’ll be using #CharityShopVolunteersWales) to hear about a range of different experiences from individuals volunteering in charity shops.
Volunteering during the pandemic should only be done with due care and consideration for the wellbeing of volunteers, staff and customers. You’ll find safeguarding guidance on our Covid-19 guidance and resources page. For information about limitations or considerations for local lockdowns in wales visit: gov.wales/local-lockdown.
Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, has announced additional mental health support that anyone in Wales can access when they need to. Continue reading
See how Transition Llambed in Continue reading