Monday, 31 March 2008

Where's Big Business Corporate Social Responsibility?

I read another critical article in the FT at the weekend about Alliance Boots extending its payment terms to suppliers to 75 days from the end of month invoice date, thus squeezing the cash flow of countless numbers of smaller British businesses.

Alliance Boots and other large corporations publish an awful lot about their Corporate Social Responsibilty policies, and what they do to make the world a better place. Boots for instance talks on its CSR website about its belief that it has an "enormously valuable role to play in promoting the health of our nation", and also believes in treating its customers "fairly".

So are suppliers not important stakeholders in the Boots business? Why no mention that they, like customers, should be treated fairly? Does anyone think about the social and economic impact of not paying suppliers on terms that they can live with? Does big business worry about smaller companies going to the wall with cash flow difficulties, or the fact that business people who run small businesses will suffer stress and anxiety as a result of their actions?

If they do worry, there is no evidence of it unfortunately... which means that business credit squeeze anger amongst the SME community will continue to grow I'm afraid.

Via: Accountancy Age blog: Risky Business with Martin Williams

Leukaemia Research And Argos Celebrate 500,000 Pounds Milestone, UK

Leukaemia Research is celebrating having raised £500,000 in record time, thanks to the support of Argos employees and customers. Just seven months into the year-long charity partnership, Argos have raised enough funds to support a special cytogenetic database, which will record symptoms and treatments of different types of blood cancer to make future treatment more effective.

Argos staff across the leading multi-channel retailer's 670-plus UK stores have taken part in a variety of fundraising events, ranging from 'Strictly Come Dancing' themed events to the charity's Bananaman Chase 10k run in Milton Keynes.

Argos customers have also been fantastic supporters of Leukaemia Research with collections taking place during the retailer's catalogue launch in January 2008 raising a record-breaking £30,000.

The 'Tick to Give' option on Argos order forms, offering customers the opportunity to donate 20p to Leukaemia Research whilst ordering products, has raised £54,000. Bananaman superhero charms, available in stores from February 2008, have already raised over £10,000.

In the five remaining months of the partnership, Argos staff are planning more fundraising initiatives. Senior Argos managers and their teams are competing against one another in the 'Directors' Challenge', to fundraise as much as possible, starting with £100 and 'investing' it in activities that can generate more money.

Kate White, Director of Fundraising for Leukaemia Research said: "Saving and Improving Lives Together, our campaign with Argos, helps 2,650 people diagnosed with leukaemia each year; we are committed to giving every one of them the best chance of survival. We'd like to say a huge thankyou to Argos employees and customers for helping Leukaemia Research hit half a million; it will make a real difference to people's lives."

Lorna Liggett, Community Affairs Manager at Argos, said: "The 'Saving and Improving Lives Together' campaign has surpassed all our expectations - staff and customers have really got behind the partnership activity and we're happy to have achieved so much for such a wonderful charity. With five months of fundraising to go we hope to help many more patients and families in need."


Photos and Interviews - photos of the celebration are available and local and regional fundraisers for Leukaemia Research are available for interview.

About the partnership

Argos announced Leukaemia Research as its new charity of the year after winning a staff vote in March 2007, with the official launch taking place 28 July. The partnership is running under the campaign theme of 'Saving and Improving Lives Together' and has so far raised over £500,000 to support a special cytogenetic database which will help Leukaemia Research record symptoms and treatments of different types of blood cancer to help spot patterns and make future treatment more effective.

About Leukaemia Research

Leukaemia Research is the only national charity devoted exclusively to improving treatments, finding cures and learning how to prevent leukaemia, Hodgkin's lymphoma and other lymphomas, myeloma and the other related blood disorders, diagnosed in 24,500 people in the UK every year. Further information, including patient information booklets, is available from or call 020 7405 0101.

Over the next five years, Leukemia Research urgently needs to raise over £100 million to commit to new research across the UK. From basic laboratory research to clinical trials with patients, Leukaemia Research is committed to saving lives by funding high quality, carefully selected research throughout the UK.

About Argos

Argos is a unique retailer recognised for choice, value and convenience. It sells general merchandise and products for the home from over 700 stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland, online and over the telephone. In the last financial year, Argos sales grew 8% to £4.2 billion and it employed some 34,000 people across the business.

Argos serves over 130 million customers a year through its stores and takes four million customer orders either online or over the phone. On average, 17 million UK households, or around two thirds of the population, have an Argos catalogue at home at any time.

Argos expects to add around 30 stores per annum with the chain expected to exceed 800 over time. Its Internet site,, is the second most visited retail site in the UK.

Argos is part of Home Retail Group, the UK's leading home and general merchandise retailer.

Leukaemia Research

Bulgaria's First Lady Opens Charity Concert in the Hague

Bulgaria's first lady Zorka Parvanova will open today a charity concert in the Hague, Netherlands, informed the presidential press center.

Bulgarian musicians who live in the Netherlands will take part in the event and will play classical works by Bulgarian composers.

The aim of the concert is to raise money for the Crisis center at the Home for children left without parental care “Olga Skobeleva” in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.


Fundraising nurse retires after four decades in NHS

A POPULAR Sheffield nurse and fundraiser who dedicated her working life to caring for others has retired after more than 40 years in the NHS.
Suzanne Wesley, from Handsworth, has worked at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital - including time at the Royal Infirmary - before that, for 43 years.

Since 1968, she has been on the neurosurgical ward looking after some of the regions' poorliest patients working her way up to a matron position.

She was also one of the first trustees of the Neurocare charity which raises money for the Royal Hallamshire Hospital's neurosciences department and over the last 20 years has made a significant contribution to its success.

"I have loved every minute of my career and would do it all again if I could," said Suzanne, aged 61. "I've so enjoyed working with the patients and the multi-disciplinary team that made my time so special."

Her interest in caring for patients with brain conditions started early in her career.

What do you think? Post your coment below.

"I had a placement on the neurosurgical ward during my second year as a student nurse and I knew it was for me so I went back as much as I could and eventually, when qualified, got a permanent position as a staff nurse," she explained.

"The patients really are so vulnerable and nearly every case touches you. I look back over the years and there are hundreds that stand out – lots are miracles who we never thought would survive but they pulled through," said Suzanne.

Only a third of people cared for on N ward, where Suzanne worked, are from Sheffield. The rest are from other parts of South Yorkshire and beyond such as Lincoln, Grimsby and Scunthorpe.

Many have congenital abnormalities, brain injury or trauma, tumours and haemorrhages and their needs are often very complex.

"As a neuro nurse you to have be very highly-skilled, once you've nursed on a neuro ward you can nurse anywhere," added Suzanne.

In 1987, a group from the ward, including a consultant anaesthetist and neurosurgeon, set up a charity called Neurocare to help provide equipment originally for the neuro intensive care unit. Soon after it formed, Suzanne joined as a trustee and, 20 years on, it is still something she is extremely passionate about.

"We did such a lot of hands on fundraising back in the early days from organising jumble sales and fairs to a cricket match between the Sheffield and Liverpool neurosurgeons after the Hillsborough disaster.

It is wonderful to see the charity going from strength-to-strength now providing equipment for not just neurosurgery but neuromedicine too - it provides such a lot of support especially for patients' families. Often they have suffered such a devastating loss or a really frightening experience involving a loved one and just want to say thank you and put something back. Helping Neurocare provides them with a way to do that.

"The brain scanning that is now on offer is one of the most remarkable changes that I have seen over the 43 years from CT, and MRI to the 3D 'Sonowand' scanning equipment which Neurocare has helped fund.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Too Many Women Still Dying From Breast Cancer, Says Charity

Thousands of women die from breast cancer each year because current treatments are not always effective and in some cases fail to stem the disease, warns Breast Cancer Campaign today (27 March).

In a comprehensive review of breast cancer research published today, 56 of the UK’s most influential breast cancer experts have identified the key research gaps and priorities for the greatest potential impact on patients.

Breast cancer treatment has improved over the past few decades and led to increased survival rates and better quality of life, the report highlights. However over 44,000 women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and around 12,500 will die.

Unfortunately, not enough is known about why treatments don’t work for some patients or why breast cancer can return, sometimes many years later, says Breast Cancer Campaign.

The new study, one of the largest ever carried out in the UK and published by the open access journal Breast Cancer Research, is a unique insight into the current state of breast cancer research and its future challenges.

Gaps in key areas of breast cancer research have been identified in the report, says the charity: prevention, detection, spread or recurrence of the disease, treatment, pathology, physiology, genetics and psychosocial aspects of breast cancer.

Among the recommendations for future research priorities pinpointed by Breast Cancer Campaign:

-Identify new ways to predict and prevent breast cancer
-Predict who will develop advanced or secondary disease
-Determine how and why breast cancer spreads to other parts of the body
-Devise a suitable method to determine the effectiveness of a treatment at an early stage
-Understand more about the psychosocial and psychological impacts of breast cancer

Pamela Goldberg, Chief Executive Breast Cancer Campaign said, “Breast cancer research has made considerable progress over the past two decades and vital work is still underway. But there are still significant knowledge gaps.

“Greater attention must be paid to all stages of breast cancer. The experiences of older women and those from minority ethnic groups must be considered, particularly in light of recent research showing breast cancer develops earlier in black women and their survival rates are poorer.”

Breast Cancer Campaign is already playing a leading role in filling some of the research gaps identified in the report. The charity is currently spending £11.3 million on over 90 research projects around the UK, looking at all areas from screening and prevention to genetics and treatment.

The development of a computer programme that will quickly tell clinicians which is the best treatment for an individual is just one of the many research projects funded by the charity.

Accurately identifying who will respond, or not respond, to breast cancer treatments is very difficult. The computer programme will be able to predict which patients will benefit most, not only from current treatments, but also any new therapies that may come onto the market, paving the way for treatment tailored to the individual and ultimately saving lives.

“We have set out a blueprint for future breast cancer research by this analysis and we are already filling some of the gaps,” says Pamela Goldberg.

“While we are working in an exciting age of discovery, our resources are limited. The Government, funding bodies and scientists should focus on these gaps to drive advances in knowledge into improvements in patient care. If we co-ordinate our resources and target the priorities in breast cancer research, we can ensure an environment of scientific excellence and plug these gaps.”

Evaluation of the current knowledge limitations in breast cancer research: A gap analysis - can be viewed in full here.


1. A committee of Breast Cancer Campaign grant holders recruited seven groups of UK breast cancer researchers to analyse the gaps in breast cancer research to determine areas of research that if targeted by researchers and funders could produce the greatest impact on patients.

2. Breast Cancer Campaign aims to beat breast cancer by funding innovative world-class research to understand how breast cancer develops, leading to improved diagnosis, treatment, prevention and cure.

3. Currently it supports over 90 research projects, worth over £11.3 million, in 50 centres of excellence across the UK.

4. Breast Cancer Campaign recently announced that it will be supporting research in the Republic of Ireland.

5. Breast Cancer Campaign offers a range of research funding schemes from small pilot grants to fund innovative ideas through to substantial five year scientific fellowship awards to develop talented independent breast cancer researchers.

6. Breast Cancer Campaign’s publication, the History of Breast Cancer, which tracks key milestones in breast cancer treatment and the contribution of research to date as well as looking to the future can be downloaded at Breast Cancer Campaign

Charity Calls On UK Health And Social Care Chiefs To Adopt Plan To Help Disabled Childen

A leading disabled children's charity has called on health and social care chiefs to undertake a significant review of their spending and policy on equipment for disabled children.

BDF Newlife says that in the last three years it has spent more than £1.7million on grants for families with disabled children in the United Kingdom.

It claims the equipment should be being provided by Primary Care Trusts and Local Authorities.

It has proposed a six point plan of action which it hopes to have adopted by Chief Executives in England, Scotland and Wales to employ new ways of monitoring 'unmet need', to tackle any failings in their area and review their budgets for provision of equipment.

The charity's Chief Executive Sheila Brown OBE says: "Our research shows that there is little appreciation of the true spending levels needed to give the right level of assistance to disabled children. Few organisations have a system in place to monitor unmet need.

"We believe that statutory bodies simply don't know how many children are going without equipment because their professionals know the limitations of their budget and so apply straight to a charity.

"If the size of the need is not known then it can't be planned for financially. Disabled children are slipping through the net. Until CEOs track unmet need this will continue year on year."

As part of its call for action BDF Newlife wants to see increased spending on equipment for disabled children, special needs car seats to be classed as essential equipment, an end to 'unlawful blanket bans' (ie when a department does not provide a certain piece of equipment) on provision of particular items and an end to inter-departmental disagreements about who funds what items.

The charity is writing to every CEO in the UK, who has overall responsibility for disabled children's equipment provision, calling on them to adopt its plan. It is also offering to carry out a 'criteria health check' - to ensure statutory bodies are meeting the needs of disabled children.

Adds Mrs Brown: "All this is achievable. Our concern is for disabled children and we wish to work with statutory bodies to make a better future for them."

BDF Newlife is the UK's leading child health charity specialising in research

and support to aid those affected by inborn conditions, otherwise known as birth defects. In addition to funding research, the charity also offers support services operated by specially trained nurses.

* Notes

The charity's six point call for action is as follows:

Unmet need: Install a system whereby formal applications are always made to the relevant statutory service. Monitor applications that are refused and explain why to indicate the level of unmet need.

Budget planning 2008/09: Review current spending levels to inform next year's budget. Use internal data to make necessary increases in budget and allow more children to receive equipment in the year ahead.
Car seats: Agree that car seats for disabled children are 'essential equipment' and eligible for funding.

No 'unlawful' blanket bans: Ensure that there is no possibility of unlawful blanket bans being expressed in writing or verbally to avoid legal challenges.

Provide first, debate later: Take steps to agree with other relevant bodies that inter-departmental disagreements about who funds what do not cause delay in making provision.

Health check on provision criteria. Ensure criteria/policies are open and developed in partnership with health, education and voluntary sector providers.

Prince Harry is to become the benefactor of charity

Prince Harry has been assigned founder of MapAction and WellChild charities. And this is not his first charitable organizations. He already established charitable fund Sentebale (what means "Forget me not") in Lesotho (southern Africa), in commemoration of his mother, Princess Diana. The mission of Sentebale is to help Aids orphans. Prince says: “I want to continue my mother’s (Diana) work. And Lesotho is the best place for it.” Every day in Lesotho about 70 people die from AIDS.

Prince Harry has been visited Lesotho for several times. “We are going to work here, will start with small projects. “When you return to England – you just live, when you get back to places like these- you understand how lucky you are”, according to Prince Harry words. Charitable fund is supposed to provide long-term support and assistance to new projects. Orphan-asylum and project for joint harvest got more than 1 million Pounds (over 2 million $).

MapAction supplies urgent mapping to aid agencies in the case of natural and humanitarian disasters. MapAction staff worked across the world, including Lesotho, Sri Lanka suffered from tsunami as well as in other countries. In October 2007, MapAction finished its first 50 missions. Prince Harry, the charity's Royal Patron, attended this important event. About 140 guests and members of MapAction got together at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (in London) due to this occasion.

WellChild offers help and nursing care to sick children with chronic-illness living at home and their families, giving useful solutions to various issues through investigation, support and encouragement. They aimed at discovering the ways to prevent the spread of childhood disease, finding the means to cure childhood illness and to advance the treatment and care of sick children.

Prince Harry is the first royal patron for all three charities.

Dr Carl Clowes, the charity president, thanked Prince Harry for his enthusiasm and responsibility towards people, great support and essential contribution.

Citipost Supporting Cancer Charity Distribution

Citipost Ltd is the Distribution Sponsor for CANCERactive starting this month. Initially, Citipost will be providing all UK distribution services for the charity’s quarterly icon magazine, contributing savings of more than £6,000 per year. Over the coming years, Citipost pledges to continue to work in partnership to supply improved distributions services and raise increased funds to support CANCERactive.

Rob Bradford, Managing Director, Citipost DSA Ltd, says; “We are very excited about our charity partnership with CANCERactive and the opportunity to make a big difference for people affected by cancer and their families in all communities across the UK. Citipost is proud to provide key distribution services for CANCERactive. We’re committed to successful fundraising and I am confident that this will be a long and beneficial partnership.”

Citipost will provide all the distribution services for the quarterly icon magazine that is sent out to more than 32,000 readers and 300 Cancer centres across the UK.

Chris Woolams, Founder, CANCERactive, says: "CANCERactive is the only UK charity fully covering Complementary and Alternative Cancer Therapies, not merely the Orthodox ones, thus helping cancer patients increase their personal odds of survival. We provide all this information for free and, even though the Trustees and Directors take no remuneration, this still requires funding. The support of organisations such as Citipost is vital to ensure that we continue to provide these unique information services to the 320,000 people who develop cancer in the UK every year".

CANCERactive is the UK's number one cancer charity for evidence-based information on holistic cancer therapies.

© - Postal Industry News

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Student raises £900 for charity

A Telford student who completed a charity skydive says she may take up the daredevil sport in the future.

Ruth Lane, 20, of Fountain Drive, St Georges, raised nearly £900 from the skydive on Easter Monday morning.

She completed her first tandem dive with instructor Danny Smith at Tilstock Airfield, near Whitchurch.

The funds raised will go to the Lupus UK charity, which carries out research and raises awareness of the auto-immune system illness, which attacks not only bacteria and viruses but healthy tissue as well.

The Manchester Metropolitan University music and drama student said: “I am a member of the Wellington (Telford) Brass Band and our conductor’s mother sadly died from the illness.

“I felt I wanted to do something to help raise awareness of lupus.

“I never dreamed of doing a skydive, then one day I just thought about it and decided to go for it.

“I thought not only would it raise money, but it would be an achievement for myself.”

Read more in the Shropshire Star

Charity makes calls for extra support

CYNON Valley AM Christine Chapman has called for more help to be made available to children who are displaying sexually harmful behaviour.

Her plea comes after shocking NSPCC research claimed that as many as one in eight children are abused.

Referring to the children’s commissioner for Wales’s annual report, the AM spoke of the need for a more co-ordinated, consistent approach to delivering services for these children and young people.

“As the annual report states, there are very few teams providing specialist services to groups of children who have been abused or who display sexually harmful behaviour,” she said.

“Many of those children who have been abused suffer mental health problems and, as a result, display sexually harmful behaviour in adulthood.

“I am aware this issue is not talked about enough, other than to condemn it,” said Mrs Chapman.

She argued that improving the services available to these vulnerable youngsters would, in the long-term, lower the level of child sexual abuse and help those children who have been abused not to develop sexually harmful behaviour.

Simon Jones, NSPCC policy and public affairs manager for Wales, welcomed Mrs Chapman’s comments.

“We urge the Welsh Assembly to proactively bring together key agencies to discuss how best to tackle this issue of young people who display sexually harmful behaviour,” he said.

North East unites behind Sir Bobby Robson charity bid

On Easter Monday, there was a knock at Sir Bobby Robson's door. A stranger was standing outside his Co Durham house clutching a brown envelope. “My first thought: football agent,” he said, with a familiar chuckle yesterday, and the package in question did, indeed, contain money. In used notes and loose change was £274.71; the gesture, however, was priceless.

The woman in front of him began telling Robson her story. Her husband had died recently and his final request was that mourners should not send flowers to mark his passing. Instead, he had heard that Robson was establishing a charity and asked for a collection to be made at his funeral. Here she was, clutching the proceeds. It is the kind of warmth Robson generates.

As Fabio Capello, the England manager, prepares for the friendly against France this evening, an illustrious predecessor is grappling with a different challenge. For the fifth time, Robson, 75, has been told that he has cancer and, while he remains in bubbly, fighting form, this time it is inoperable. As you would expect, it is not the end of the matter.

When Dr Ruth Plummer, Robson's oncologist, asked him if he knew of businessmen or contacts who could help to raise money for a new facility at the Freeman Hospital, in Newcastle, he went several steps further. The result is the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, which, initially at least, aims to raise £500,000 for a cancer trials research centre.

Robson has undertaken his task with the same gusto that transformed Ipswich Town into winners of the FA and Uefa Cups, made England World Cup semi-finalists, that took him on a remarkable journey to the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and back to Newcastle United. He winces at the thought of the charity carrying his name, but acknowledges the opportunity that it presents.

“There's a saying from my part of the world, which I don't really like, but maybe it's appropriate - shy bairns get nothing,” he said. “My other skirmishes have been football-related and this is medical-related and the process of raising quite a bit of money isn't easy, because it's not easy asking people for money, is it? The problem is, if I don't ask, I don't get, so I've got to take the bull by the horns.”

Robson has done so much that is positive for the reputation of English football, that the response has been overwhelming. The chairmen of Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough have all promised the foundation access to their supporter databases, while Des Lynam, Peter Beardsley and Brendan Foster were present to offer their backing to the launch.

“I'm very confident all three of our clubs will stay in the Premier League and I hope so, too, because while I'm black-and-white, I'm a northeastern lad and Sunderland and Middlesbrough are very important to this region,” Robson said. “The centre we are setting up is for people across the North East and Cumbria.” Season ticket-holders will be hearing from him.

Unsurprisingly, events at St James' Park remain close to his heart. “I'm a fan again now, which is strange for me sometimes, but I enjoy it,” Robson said. “Newcastle will be in the Premier League next season and we all know they have the resources to take things on in the summer. I think they'll need five new players and that will entail spending a fair bit of money.” Spending it is no longer Robson's problem; raising it is.

Donations can be made at TheSirBobbyRobsonFoundation

Dinner celebrates 2007 fundraising campaign

HUNTINGTON -- Numerous organizations and volunteers were recognized Tuesday evening at Heritage Hall for their efforts in helping the United Way of the River Cities exceed its goal for the 2007 fundraising campaign.

An annual celebration dinner was held on the property of Heritage Farm. During the 2007 campaign, United Way raised more than $1.8 million. The campaign's goal was $1.5 million. Its resources for management totaled to $1.69 million. It also awarded $52,000 last year in venture grants to partner agencies for capital purchases. Money was also set aside for a grant to be given to partner agencies for strategies to address obesity.

Cassey Bowden, director of resource development and marketing, said the annual dinner gives the charity a chance to give back to volunteers and organizations and celebrate their success of fundraising. In addition to exceeding the campaign's goal, she said the group was able to utilize a total of $110,000 in grant funds.

James P. Crouse, vice president of Wells Fargo Insurance, was the 2007 campaign chairman. He said he was extremely pleased with last year's fundraising.

"It was a large group effort in allowing folks to help with the fundraising," he said. "All the money goes back in the Tri-State community in forms of services and programs."

United Way of the River Cities currently supports 33 services and programs such as the Huntington Pediatric Clinic, Huntington Area Food Bank and Boy Scouts. They have approximately 42 volunteers and organizations who contribute the funding.

Taking home the award for the largest amount raised was the Steel of West Virginia/USWA Local 37. The steel company raised more than $87,000 last year. President of the Steel of West Virginia/USWA Local 37 Tim Duke expressed the importance of giving back to the community.

"We have a lot of support in our union and we have been involved with United Way for a number of years," he said. "Our employees were great in donating and recognize that there are a lot of needs out there to be fulfilled."

Duke is also a United Way board member.

"I also think it's very important to give back to the less fortunate because we are able to do it," said Craig Knight, president of the local 37. "I'm just glad we could help."

The Herald-Dispatch

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Sir Bobby launches cancer charity

Former England manager Sir Bobby Robson is launching a charitable foundation to help in the fight against cancer.

Sir Bobby, 75, who is battling the disease for the fifth time after first being diagnosed in 1991, aims to raise £500,000 for the new charity. The cash will fund the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trial and Research Centre, being built at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital. The centre will focus on early detection and treatment and clinical trials of new drugs. It will boast dedicated research facilities, including a 12-bed unit with treatment rooms, a laboratory and consulting suites. Last year doctors discovered the former Newcastle United manager, who lives in County Durham, had small cancerous nodules in his lungs. He has battled the disease on and off for the past 15 years, having undergone cancer surgery four times.

Young offered help to avoid debt

A UK charity has launched an initiative to help young people avoid getting into debt.

LifeLine plans to train up to 20,000 youth advisers across the country during the next two years so that they can provide young people with the knowledge and skills they need to manage their finances.
The project, Young People and Money, is part of the Financial Services Authority's £90 million financial capability strategy.
Through the intermediaries the charity hopes to reach up to 200,000 young people who have been classed as Neets (Not in Education, Employment or Training).
Nine out of 10 young people say they worry about money, but despite this many consider credit cards and overdrafts to be easy ways to spend more than they earn or buy things they cannot normally afford.
The initiative is backed by Chief Secretary to the Treasury Yvette Cooper and actor David Threlfall.
In a video message being shown at the launch of the project, Threlfall said: "With talk of the impending global recession there's a lot of scaremongering going on.

"So it's important that this forum is being created to help young people understand money.

"You walk into any shopping centre in this country and they're always offering you credit cards, and I find that a problem.

"I walk a mile from it - it's like a trap-door that opens and before you know it, you're on one of those reality shows as a spendaholic. Don't go there."

From the Google News

Charity Tribunal opens its doors

The independent appeal body for the not-for-profit sector is now in operation.

The Government promises that the Charity Tribunal will improve access to justice for charities, and is introduced as part of the Charities Act 2006. Until now, charities could only challenge legal decisions made by the Charity Commission by going to the High Court – a costly and time-consuming process for most organisations.
'The Charity Tribunal is an historic development that will begin a new era of justice for charities,’ says Minister for the Third Sector Phil Hope. ‘It will create an affordable recourse for charities to challenge legal decisions of the Charity Commission and will strengthen the legal framework for charities by building case law which has been seriously lacking.’

‘The introduction of the Charity Tribunal is an important milestone for the third sector,’ adds Dame Suzi Leather, Chair of the Charity Commission. ‘It means that charities and other people affected by decisions we make can have confidence that they will get an independent hearing at the Charity Tribunal. It is an important part of the Charities Act and we look forward to the challenges and opportunities its introduction will provide.’

While the Tribunal will be able to consider points of law referred to it without a case being brought, the Charity Commission is stressing that it’s existing robust internal decision review process already resolves most disputes without legal action being required.

The Charity Tribunal has been brought into existence by the Third Commencement Order under the new Charities Act. The Commencement Order also brings into force provisions allowing charities to pay trustees for goods and services, new powers for the Charity Commission and the update, extension and simplification of several powers for charities.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Chelsea player backs charity

A TOP African football star has given his support to a York charity's worker's drive to help poverty-stricken children.

Non-stop fundraiser Teba Diatta has claimed another big-name coup in her quest to attract support for her Running For Life charity, which is aiming to raise £100,000 to build an educational resource centre in the Senegalese village where many of her relatives live.

A vigil outside Premier League club Chelsea's training ground saw Ghanaian international Michael Essien - one of Africa's most famous soccer idols - sign a shirt which will now be included in a charity auction.

Teba's tireless efforts have seen her set herself a series of celebrity goals to boost the Running For Life appeal, which included meeting Victoria Beckham in Chicago and returning with a pair of the pop star and fashion icon's DVB jeans. She has also gained backing from former Prime Minister Tony Blair, footballers Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira, the Archbishops of York and Canterbury and pop group Girls Aloud.

Explaining how she obtained the Essien shirt, 26-year-old Teba, who works at Millthorpe School in York where pupils have also held fundraising events and have collected around £1,300, said: "I was in London and I just thought why don't I go to Chelsea's training ground?' "I waited outside, and when Michael Essien was leaving and I managed to speak to him, he laughed and thought I was being a bit cheeky, but I explained to him that people like him can make a real difference and he was happy to sign the shirt.

"His team-mate Frank Lampard signed it as well, so it is another really good item to get for the auction. I'm passionate about football - although I support Arsenal rather than Chelsea - and while I don't worship footballers, I'm really grateful for the help they have given.

By Mark Stead from York Press

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie donated £4 million to charity

Hollywood golden couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie donated over $8 million (£4 million) to charity in 2006.
Federal tax filings for the Jolie Pitt Foundation, the couple's charity organisation, have been reported by the Huffington Post.
Fight Club star, Pitt, donated $4,402,317 (£2,219,786) while Tombraider's Jolie donated $4,123,613 (£2,079,267).
The records for 2006 show that the famous acting couple handed out $1 million (£500,000) to Doctors Without Borders and the Global Aids Alliance.
The Namibian Red Cross Programme, the country in which their adopted daughter Shiloh was born, also received a donation of $137,935 (£69,557) from the Jolie Pitt Foundation. And the pair presented $100,000 (£50,000) to the Daniel Pearl Foundation. Jolie played the widow of the US journalist killed in Pakistan, in the film A Mighty Heart.
Pitt and Jolie are well known for their continual charity work, with Jolie working as a UN Goodwill Ambassador around the world.
Pitt has also recently been involved in building new homes in New Orleans, the city destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

Disability rights campaigner to forge links between government and charities

Sir Bert Massie, the former chair of the Disability Rights Commission, has been appointed as the new Commissioner for the Compact, the agreement that strives to develop links between public, voluntary and community organisations.

Massie's role will be to push for greater public sector compliance with the Compact, which defines government responsibilities in dealing with the voluntary and community sector.

Last month, research by the Improvement and Development Agency revealed that while there is a lot of superficial contact between commissioners and the third sector, there is a serious lack of confidence in their ability to deliver.

While Massie is not thought to have negotiated any enhancement of the powers of the commissioner, which some critics felt were limited, his office has received an increase in funding from £1.7m per year last year to £2m per year for the next three years. And Compact Voice, the body representing third sector interests, now receives nearly £1m - up 25% on last year.

It is also hoped that the permanent nature of his appointment to the £40,000-a-year post, which he won in open competition, will also beef up its effectiveness.

Commenting on his appointment Massie said: "I am delighted to have the opportunity of contributing to the work of ensuring that the voluntary and statutory sectors work together closely to improve and enhance the services and support they offer the public. The Commission for the Compact will ensure that the Compact is a living document that influences action."

Massie has worked in the voluntary sector for 40 years and has served on a number of government advisory committees. Before he became chair of the DRC he was chief executive of Radar, the Royal Association for Disabilty and Rehabilitation. He is currently a commissioner for the recently created Equality and Human Rights Commission, in conjunction with his new role at the Compact.

He takes over from interim commissioner Helen Baker, a registered social worker who has worked in executive and non-executive roles both in the statutory and voluntary sectors across social care, health and education.

Announcing the appointment, the third sector minister, Phil Hope, said: "Bert Massie has the passion, knowledge and experience to get the job done.

"Working in partnership, government and the third sector can do much more, particularly reaching the people who are most in need. I am determined that the Compact underpins all our dealings with the third sector and I am pleased that we now have the people, the money and a plan to make the state a better partner." © Guardian News and Media Limited 2008

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