Community Life Survey: Focus on Loneliness

Community Life Survey: Focus on Loneliness

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport commissions the Community Life Survey. The survey provides official statistics on issues that are important to encouraging social action and empowering communities. This release focuses on findings about loneliness collected through the survey. It provides additional demographic breakdowns and looks at estimated levels of loneliness against other key survey measures.

For more information go to the Government website

Bet365 companies gave founder’s charity £75m last year

Bet365 companies gave founder’s charity £75m last year

From Civil Society

A foundation set up by the founder of the gambling firm Bet365 received £75m in donations from three companies that are part of the Bet365 group last year, according to accounts filed with Companies House.  Total funds for the Denise Coates Foundation now stand at nearly £254m, according to accounts for the year ending March 2018.

£243.2m is held as an endowment, most of which is managed by the wealth management company Stonehage Fleming. The wealthiest charity in the UK is the Wellcome Trust, which has assets of more than £20bn. But the Denise Coates Foundation is expected to now be among the top 100 when charities are ranked by total assets.

Last year the Foundation’s investment portfolio returned an investment gain of £2.5m, or 1.3 per cent. The accounts acknowledge that this fell well short of the UK inflation rate of 3.3 per cent, though they state that over the same period the FTSE 100 fell by 5.1 per cent.

Read the full article here

Charities should prepare for a difficult year, NCVO warns

Charities should prepare for a difficult year, NCVO warns

From Civil Society

Brexit and a weak economy mean charities should prepare for a difficult year ahead, NCVO has warned.

The warning comes as the Office for Budgetary Responsibility (OBR) predicts growth by 1.6 per cent in 2019, below the EU average of 2.0 per cent, while The Resolution Foundation predicts that benefit freezes will leave low-income household more than £200 worse off in 2019.

NCVO is suggesting that this could reduce government investment in charities and limit the public’s ability to donate to charities.   Meanwhile, the umbrella body is warning that charities will also be impacted by increased demand as local councils are facing an £8bn funding shortfall and household debt is growing for the first time in 30 years. It also said that an ageing population will increase health, social care and housing costs and requirements, which may impact charities working in these fields.

NCVO’s annual report, The Road Ahead, highlighted the difficulties charities may encounter in the upcoming year using PEST analysis- an analysis of political, economic, socio-cultural and technological macro factors to forecast growth and direction for operations.

You can read the full article here

Local NHS allocated £570 billion to fund the NHS Long Term Plan

Local NHS allocated £570 billion to fund the NHS Long Term Plan

Local health services are being allocated £570 billion to fund NHS services and implement the new long term plan.

Every area in England will receive a cash increase of at least 17% over the next five years, including a minimum rise of 4.4% next year.

Some £1 billion a year will be distributed according to the greatest need, with a redeveloped fairer funding formula channelling extra money to places with the highest rates of early death and unmet health needs.

Other changes will mean more investment from April targeted at areas with higher needs for community services for the first time and give greater regard to need for mental health services.

The allocation of funding for local Clinical Commissioning Groups follows publication of the NHS Long Term Plan setting out the priorities of the health service over the next decade.

For more information go to the NHS website

Least qualified adults miss out on job-boosting training and education

Least qualified adults miss out on job-boosting training and education

Some of the most vulnerable members of society have the least access to the training and learning that could help boost their career prospects, Office for National Statistics (ONS) analysis has shown.

Adults with the lowest levels of educational attainment are among those missing out on the opportunity to improve their life chances, the analysis of the Adult Education Survey 2016 has revealed. 

Personal reasons such as lack of confidence were the main blockers for those without qualifications, while those with a degree or equivalent cited lack of time as the biggest obstacle.

You can find out more here

Preparing a charity annual return

Preparing a charity annual return

You must send an annual return to the Charity Commission (or update your details) every year if your charity is registered in England or Wales.

Unincorporated organisations and charitable companies with incomes between £0 to £10,000 need to submit their income and expenditure figures through the annual return service. All charities need to check and update their details before submitting the annual return.

You can find full information here

Fewer than 4,000 people used the Fundraising Preference Service last year

Fewer than 4,000 people used the Fundraising Preference Service last year

From Civil Society

Some 3,847 people used the Fundraising Preference Service to make 11,890 suppression requests between November 2017 and October 2018, according to figures published by the Fundraising Regulator.

A total of 988 separate charities received a request to stop contacting people. Nearly a quarter of requests were made on behalf of another person. Ten people used the service to end contact with more than 50 charities each.

But the regulator said that on average people ask to end contact with three charities.

The service launched in July 2017, and in the period to the end of March 2018 received nearly 20,000 requests from 5,700 people. However, the majority of these requests were made in the early days of the service.

To read the article in full go to the Civil Society website

Local authority governance

Local authority governance

This report from the National Audit Office (NAO) examines whether local governance arrangements provide assurance that local authority spending achieves value and authorities are financially sustainable

Background to the report

Local authorities are accountable to their communities for how they spend their money and for ensuring that this spending represents value for money. Local politicians and officers operate within local governance frameworks of checks and balances to ensure that decision-making is lawful, informed by objective advice, transparent and consultative.

Good governance means that proper arrangements are in place to ensure that an authority’s intended objectives are achieved. Key elements of the statutory framework ensure that authorities remain financially sustainable.

Authorities have faced significant challenges since 2010-11 as funding has reduced while demand for key services has grown. Not only are the risks from poor governance greater in the current context as the stakes are higher, but the process of governance itself is more challenging and complex. Governance arrangements have to be effective in a riskier, more time-pressured and less well-resourced context.

Content and scope of the report

This report examines whether local governance arrangements provide local taxpayers and Parliament with assurance that local authority spending achieves value for money and that authorities are financially sustainable. The report addresses this question in three separate parts:

  • Part One examines the pressures on the local governance system;
  • Part Two explores the extent to which local governance arrangements function as intended; and
  • Part Three assesses whether the Department is fulfilling its responsibilities as steward of the system.

To read the report go to the National Audit Office

Winter issues webinar - in case you missed it

Winter issues webinar – in case you missed it

In December ACAS ran a free winter issues webinar with over 350 people joining them to hear about the big issues faced by organisations through the winter months. These included:

  • situations involving adverse weather
  • increased absence
  • handling leave requests

You can watch the webinar here

Nearly 70 per cent of JustGiving donations go to health charities

Nearly 70 per cent of JustGiving donations go to health charities

From Civil Society

Some 68 per cent of JustGiving donations go to health charities, according to figures the online fundraising platform provided to a BBC Radio 4 programme.

Data provided by JustGiving to Radio 4’s You and Yours show reveals that health charities are the most popular causes.  Your and Yours also reported that donations to mental health charities had increased by 40 per cent over the last four years. JustGiving also revealed there had been an increase in the amount of people giving to poverty-related causes and a decrease in funding for arts and international aid.

Natasha Stroud, head of business intelligence at JustGiving told the show that: “We have seen quite pronounced trends within each of the cause types.”

Over the last four years there has been on average a 10 per cent increase in donations to health and poverty-related charities, but a 2 per cent drop in giving to international aid and a 33 per cent drop in giving to arts and culture, according to Stroud

You can read the full article here