Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Trustees failed to report sex abuse allegation

Serious governance failings due to lack of oversight on safeguarding

The Charity Commission has criticised the trustees of the Grail Trust (the charity) over the handling of an allegation of child abuse in the main organisation it raised funds to support, the Grail Trust India (GTI) as inadequate.
The allegation involved a person connected with the charity at a children’s home in India run by its partner GTI, which has now closed. The charity raised funds for and provided financial support to GTI to run the home and representatives of the charity periodically visited the home.
The Commission carried out an initial investigation after being notified of the allegation in August 2011. This led to a statutory inquiry, which examined how the trustees dealt with the allegation and the charity’s procedures and approach to safeguarding.
The Commission does not investigate allegations of abuse but intervenes to ensure that trustees are protecting their charity and its users. The allegation is still being investigated by the appropriate overseas authorities and although the inquiry had been awaiting the outcome of the criminal case, given the time that has passed, the Commission has decided to conclude its own investigation.
The inquiry found that the initial response by the trustees to the allegation was inadequate as they did not report the allegation and were not impartial in considering the allegation, which they publically rejected. The inquiry found this was both inappropriate and risked damaging the charity’s reputation. The inquiry also found that the charity’s trustees had failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that safeguarding measures undertaken by GTI were adequate.
The inquiry concluded that there had been serious governance failures in the charity and that the trustees were responsible for misconduct and mismanagement due to their mis-handling of the allegation of abuse; their failure to ensure that there were proper safeguarding systems in place at GTI and their failure to fully understand that their safeguarding obligations extended to visitors from the charity to GTI.
As a result the Commission issued the trustees with a formal action plan to ensure the trustees understood their safeguarding responsibilities and put adequate measures in place to manage the risks to the charity’s beneficiaries. The Commission is currently monitoring compliance with this action plan, and is satisfied that the trustees are acting on the regulatory advice given.

Michelle Russell, Director of Investigations, Monitoring and Enforcement, said:

"This is very concerning. It is another case where trustees do not take abuse allegations seriously nor ensure there are proper safeguarding protections in place to protect children.
Trustees have a duty to act in the best interests of the charity and this includes having adequate safeguarding policies in place and fully implementing them.
Many charities deliver charitable work through other charities and partners both here in the UK and overseas. Where that work and those organisations are involved with children, it’s important that the charity ensures the partner is not just capable of delivering that work, but has proper safeguarding measures in place. Trustees should therefore put in place proper monitoring of staff and volunteers and ensure safeguarding policies and procedures are in place at a local level."
Further information for trustees on safeguarding can be found in the Commission’s policy on: Safeguarding children and young people.
The full report is available on GOV.UK.
(Source: The Charity Commission)

Monday, 27 March 2017

Looking forward to meeting you all in Welshpool!

CALLING ALL VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS IN AND AROUND WELSHPOOL

PAVO will be holding not one, not two, but three events in Welshpool on -

Thursday 30th March
At
The beautiful setting of POWIS CASTLE!


10 – 1PM : Trusty Trustee Roadshow
Presentations and workshops around:
·        Good governance,
·        What trustees need to know,
·        How to read charity accounts. 
N.B.  This event isn’t just for trustees, staff members of voluntary organisations can attend too, as it’s all really useful information to know.


2 – 3.30pm : Outreach and Drop In
Have you got a burning question you’d like answered?  Would you like the opportunity to have a one to one with PAVO Development Officers?  This is your opportunity.

We are delighted that The Big Lottery and Groundwork North Wales will be attending this part of the event! No need to book, but they will be available to tell you about their current funding streams and what you can access.



4 – 6pm : Meet and Greet
Do you know how PAVO can help your organisation?  Would you like to find out more?  Come to our meet and greet to see how we can support you.




YN GALW POB MUDIADAU GWIRFODDOL YN  

      TRALLWNG A’R ARDAL 

Bydd PAVO yn cynnal nid un, nid dau ond tri digwyddiad yn Trallwng - 

DYDD IAU 30 MAWRTH
Mewn lleoliad hyfryd sef
CASTELL Y GARDD POWIS! 


10 – 1yh : Sioe Deithiol ‘Trusty Trustee’
Gyflwyniadau a gweithdai ynglŷn â:
·        llywodraethu da,
·        beth sydd angen i ymddiriedolwyr ei wybod a
·        cyfrifon elusennau. 
N.B.  Nid i ymddiriedolwyr yn unig mae'r digwyddiad hwn, gall aelodau staff o sefydliadau gwirfoddol fynychu hefyd, mae’r wybodaeth yn berthnasol iddynt hwy hefyd.
I archebu cliciwch yma - 


2 – 3.30yh : Allgymorth a Galw i Mewn
Oes gennych chi gwestiwn llosg y byddech yn hoffi ateb iddo? Hoffech chi y cyfle i gael siarad un i un gyda Swyddogion Datblygu PAVO? Dyma’ch cyfle.

Rydym yn falch o gyhoeddi y bydd Y Loteri Fawr a Groundwork Gogledd Cymru yn mynychu! Nid oes angen archebu lle, ond byddant ar gael i ddweud wrthych am eu ffynonellau cyllid presennol a beth y gallwch gael mynediad ato.


 4 – 6yh : Cyfarfod a Chyfarch
Ydych chi'n gwybod sut y gall PAVO helpu eich sefydliad? Hoffech chi wybod mwy? Dewch i'n cwrdd a chyfarch i weld sut y gallwn eich cefnogi.

Thought for the week

Good morning everyone and welcome to our Monday thought for the week to help keep us inspired and encourage us through the week ahead of Trusteeship!

"Thought for the Week"


“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you ~ John Bunyan

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

FACING FORWARD - HOW SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED CHARITIES CAN ADAPT TO SURVIVE

Small charities face a "hurricane of change" in the economic, political and technological environment they operate in, and government and funders must change the way they operate to help, according to a report today published by the Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales

To read all about it click on - 

(Source: Civil Society News)

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Charity Commission urges trustees to get to grips with financial duties

Trustees should use essential finance guidance to help improve compliance

It was announced last night by Chief Executive Paula Sussex that the Charity Commission has updated a key piece of its financial guidance - Charity finances: trustee essentials (CC25) - in a drive to ensure trustees understand their basic financial responsibilities when running a charity.
Speaking at the ICAEW’s annual dinner in London, Sussex confirmed that trustees’ legal duties regarding financial management haven’t changed but that the Commission is making a conscious push to ensure trustees are best placed to protect their charity’s assets and resources. As part of this, it is urging trustees to read Charity finances: trustee essentials (CC25) which has been refreshed and made more accessible and readable.
In her speech last night Sussex also called on financial professionals and accountants to take a leadership role in the renewal of financial governance in the charity sector.

Paula Sussex, Chief Executive at the Charity Commission said:

"Robust financial management is vital to ensure that charities are able to meet the needs of their beneficiaries and also to increase public trust and confidence in the charitable sector. We’ve seen in our casework that weak financial governance can be extremely destabilising for charities, affect their ability to operate, and leave them vulnerable to fraud and abuse. It is vital that trustees are familiar with the charity’s governing document, understand the finances, ensure control and procedures are in place and work, and ask the right - and sometimes difficult - questions.
We are making a concerted and deliberate effort to support trustees where we identify weaknesses and providing readable and easily understandable guidance is vital to this. We also recognise that trustees often don’t have the time or resources to read multiple lengthy documents on good practice. Charity finances: trustee essentials will act as the ‘go-to’ financial publication that trustees and charity staff can refer to, to address any knowledge gaps or get assurances on whether they are doing the right thing."
Addressing attendees at the event, she added:
"I am asking ICAEW members, trustees and those engaged with charities as auditors, advisers, or supporters, to play your part in improving standards and stewardship. We want to see you helping raise trustees’ game, really making a difference to charity governance and financial management. Our expectations are in line with the Institute’s work in this area and broader ambitions. Your manifesto for charities calls for the same improvements in trustee competence that we are trying to bring about. Another of the Institute’s calls to action is to provide effective education for all trustees via online modules. We have already had some valuable discussions with the Institute about how we can support this work. We are also talking together about how the Institute as a professional membership body can do more to support and promote adherence to the revised Code of Good Governance for the Voluntary Sector. Our partnership is important and we value it."
Charity finances: trustee essentials (CC25), originally published in 2011 as Managing charity assets and resources (CC25), covers the most common areas of managing charity resources including internal financial controls, charity reserves, and staff and volunteers, signposting further reading where required. Charity governance, finance and resilience: 15 questions trustees should ask has also been re-published today. The Commission is conducting a wider ongoing review of how it supports trustees in this area, including working with external partners and umbrella bodies and improving navigation to its online guidance.

Caron Bradshaw, Chief Executive of the Charity Finance Group said:

"While most charities manage their resources well, we know that there are gaps in skills and knowledge, particular for smaller organisations. Charities must put financial management and leadership at the heart of their organisation in the years ahead. As we face choppy waters with continued funding pressures and the risk of economic instability, it is more important than ever that charities have the capacity to manage their finances and adapt their business models. Accountants and auditors have a critical role to play. Financial professionals and charities must keep working together to ensure that our sector has the skills and support they need to meet future challenges.
I warmly welcome the collaborative approach to CC25 from the Charity Commission, which is the right approach. We can give better support to charities if we can draw on the expertise and knowledge from across the sector."
(source: The Charity Commission)

Charity governance, finance and resilience: 15 questions trustees should ask

Use this checklist to review your charity's effectiveness at AGMs, trustee meetings, away-day discussions or planning meetings 
(updated 16th March 2017)

Click on the following link to read more - 

(source: The Charity Commission)


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

MEET THE FUNDERS- WELSHPOOL 30-3-2017

We are delighted to announce that Big Lottery and Groundworks Wales will be attending our Drop in at Powis Castle on:


  • Thursday 30th March 2017 
  • 2 - 3.30pm
No need to book, but they will be available to tell you about their current funding streams and what you can access.

Groundworks manage the Tesco's Bags of Help scheme, and they are looking to find projects in Powys that can take part.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, 13 March 2017

Charities are a big target for cyber criminals

Charities are being increasingly targeted by cyber criminals because they often hold a large amount of data about stakeholders, an information security expert has warned

For more information, follow this link - 



(Source: Civil Society News)

Thought for the week

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to our Monday thought for the week to help keep us inspired and encourage us through the week ahead of Trusteeship!

"Thought for the Week"


“The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of it's heroes, but also by the aggregate of tiny pushes of each honest worker~ Helen Keller

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Charity sector divided in reaction to the Spring Budget

There were just three mentions of ‘charity’ in the official Budget document, but sector leaders are divided on whether this is good or bad news for the sector. 
   
Today’s Budget announcement contained very little in the way of specific announcements for the sector. Some sector figures have said that they are disappointed and that there was not more support for the sector in today’s announcements, but others said that stability was welcome. 

See more at: 

https://www.civilsociety.co.uk/news/charity-sector-reaction-to-the-spring-budget-divided.html

(Source: Civil Society News)

Charity Commission does not know how many charities pay trustees


The Charity Commission does not know how many charities currently pay their trustees, or how many it has allowed to do so, but it is considering asking about it on a future iteration on the annual return form

 See more at: 

https://www.civilsociety.co.uk/news/charity-commission-does-not-know-how-many-trustees-are-paid.html

(Source: Civil Society News)

Monday, 6 March 2017

Thought for the week

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to our Monday thought for the week to help keep us inspired and encourage us through the week ahead of Trusteeship!

"Thought for the Week"


“It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices ~ Dumbledore (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)

Thursday, 2 March 2017

We're coming to you Welshpool!

CALLING ALL VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS IN AND AROUND WELSHPOOL

PAVO will be holding not one, not two, but three events in Welshpool on -

Thursday 30th March
At
The beautiful setting of POWIS CASTLE!


10 – 1PM : Trusty Trustee Roadshow
Presentations and workshops around:
·        good governance,
·        what trustees need to know and
·        how to read charity accounts. 
N.B.  This event isn’t just for trustees, staff members of voluntary organisations can attend too, as it’s all really useful information to know.


2 – 3.30pm : Outreach and Drop In
Have you got a burning question you’d like answered?  Would you like the opportunity to have a one to one with PAVO Development Officers?  This is your opportunity.



4 – 6pm : Meet and Greet
Do you know how PAVO can help your organisation?  Would you like to find out more?  Come to our meet and greet to see how we can support you.




YN GALW POB MUDIADAU GWIRFODDOL YN  

      TRALLWNG A’R ARDAL 

Bydd PAVO yn cynnal nid un, nid dau ond tri digwyddiad yn Trallwng - 

DYDD IAU 30 MAWRTH
Mewn lleoliad hyfryd sef
CASTELL Y GARDD POWIS! 


10 – 1yh : Sioe Deithiol ‘Trusty Trustee’
Gyflwyniadau a gweithdai ynglŷn â:
·        llywodraethu da,
·        beth sydd angen i ymddiriedolwyr ei wybod a
·        cyfrifon elusennau. 
N.B.  Nid i ymddiriedolwyr yn unig mae'r digwyddiad hwn, gall aelodau staff o sefydliadau gwirfoddol fynychu hefyd, mae’r wybodaeth yn berthnasol iddynt hwy hefyd.
I archebu cliciwch yma - 


2 – 3.30yh : Allgymorth a Galw i Mewn
Oes gennych chi gwestiwn llosg y byddech yn hoffi ateb iddo? Hoffech chi y cyfle i gael siarad un i un gyda Swyddogion Datblygu PAVO? Dyma’ch cyfle.


 4 – 6yh : Cyfarfod a Chyfarch
Ydych chi'n gwybod sut y gall PAVO helpu eich sefydliad? Hoffech chi wybod mwy? Dewch i'n cwrdd a chyfarch i weld sut y gallwn eich cefnogi.