Small Charities Week – Appreciation Day

Small Charities Week this year is between the 15th -20th June 2020. SCC had been asked to lead on Celebration Day, Saturday 20th June. 

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Given the circumstances of COVID-19, we have asked the organisers if we can instead refer to the day as Appreciation Day. We would like to use the day to pay tribute to those who either worked or volunteered in the sector and have lost their lives due to COVID-19. We want to offer an opportunity to pay tribute to individuals and demonstrate our collective appreciation for their contribution. 

To help us do this, we are planning to run a series of tributes throughout the day. If you would like us to feature a tribute to someone from your organisation, please email Tilly.Humphreys@smallcharities.org.uk

We will also be using Small Charities Week to profile small charities working with BAME and especially Black communities and individuals. We are constantly being asked for links to such organisations and we are eager that as many groups as possible should be able to capitalise on the interest from funders at this moment. We will be using the hashtag #EqualityNeverMoreNeeded to profile small charities working on all equalities issues. 

Connection Coalition 

The Jo Cox Foundation has founded the Connection Coalition alongside Mind, The British Red Cross, Facebook, Age UK, Nesta, Nationbuilder and The Cares Family. The Small Charities Coalition has recently also joined. 

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 The founding members are convening this cross-sector coalition to coordinate, amplify and inspire efforts to reinforce meaningful connections. In doing so, we will mitigate the impact of isolation throughout the COVID-19 crisis and harness the power of strong relationships and connections for the future.

At a presentation on 3rd June especially for SCC members, we heard about the support that the initiative can provide for charities working on loneliness, grief and mental health. There are lots of great resources, seminars and discussions available to members to help build a national conversation about some really difficult issues.

Membership is free.
You can download a copy of the presentation here 

Volunteer Week discussion 

During Volunteer Week 2020, we held a discussion on the future of  post COVID-19 volunteering. 

A key part of the discussion was about how important volunteering was for an individual’s mental health. There were concerns raised about the lack of specific support at this critical time for mental health and a number of really helpful resources were shared by members. Members were agreement that more money needed to be invested in volunteering and people were also keen for ideas around how to manage the challenges posed by the current lack of face to face engagement. 

Full notes will be on our website shortly  

Environmental Meet-Up

Just as lock down began we initiated a number of meetings around different themes to explore how COVID-19 is impacting on specific types of organisations working on different causes

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At the first meeting on the environment (pre the announcement of furlough,)there were three main concerns, that groups at that first meeting were concerned about. Firstly the difficulty of competing and explaining the importance of the environment when so much else is competing for the public’s attention, the short and medium term impact on funding, and finally the inability to deliver (especially outdoor) activities because of the lock down. 

At the second meeting on World Environment Day (5th June), we heard how (contrary to initial concerns) there seemed to better and more public awareness of the environment, especially as people made the link between good physical and mental health and the external environment. It was recognised that funding was still and issue, but luckily we were also joined at the meeting by the John Ellerman Foundation, who described their ongoing commitment to funding small and medium sized charities. The Foundation focuses on Protecting the seas – safeguarding and restoring the marine environment, through more and better managed protected areas; engaging coastal communities; reducing overfishing and tackling other harmful effects of human activity on the sea, such as pollution.Creating richer, more sustainable places on land – building healthier ecosystems in urban or rural settings, through better management of these areas; experimenting with or linking together habitats; large-scale interventions that help restore places of special significance. We will also support work to reduce or prevent damaging effects of human activity, such as noise and air pollution or pesticides.They are currently still open for applications.

EBAY FOR CHARITY 

With major fundraising events and other industry events postponed or cancelled, eBay is calling on charities to encourage their supporters to De-clutter, Donate and Nominate with “eBay’s Big Charity Sell” campaign.
 
The online marketplace is calling for the nation to sell their preloved items on eBay, opting for up to 100% of the proceeds to be donated directly to a charity of their choice. eBay’s Big Charity Sell has been created to help tackle some of the issues charity retailers are facing around a lack of access to inventory, fly-tipping outside high street shops, as well as an inability to fundraise via other traditional means.
 
Last year, eBay’s buyers and sellers raised more than £27 million for charity organisations – an increase of 17% compared to the year prior, so the online marketplace is hopeful this campaign will spark ever greater  fundraising efforts this year.
 
Charities are not charged any eBay fees on eBay for Charity when they sell or receive funds, allowing more money to be raised for good causes. Supporters wishing to sell for their favourite charity can donate from 10-100% of their sale and will receive the equivalent percentage reduction in fees. Sellers simply check the box that says “Donate a portion to charity” and select the donation percentage when listing their item.
 
For more information on how your charity can get involved in eBay’s Big Charity Sell, or to sign up to the platform, get in touch on ukcharity@ebay.com.   

Safe spaces for VCSE leaders

IVAR (the Institute for Voluntary Acion Research) is hosting a series of webinars for VCSE leaders to come together and discuss their fears, concerns and worries around the COVID-19 outbreak and how it is impacting on their organisation.

These will be held across June and July. Click here to book your place.

Whistleblowing and Charities 

Protect (the whistleblowing charity) Advice Line handles around 3,000 cases each year, from workers from all sectors, seeking advice on a wrongdoing they have seen or heard in their organisation. Some charity workers do not feel safe about speaking up or are not confident their concerns will be listened to. Trust is still very much a thorny issue. In the last three years calls to the Advice Line from the charity sector have risen from 12% in 2017 to 19% in 2019.  Protect has been working with a small cohort of charities on the  Whistleblowing Benchmark to test their organisation’s whistleblowing culture.

Find out more about Protect and their work here.

Possible changes to the First-tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) Rules 2009 (Consultation) 

The Tribunal Procedure Committee is interested to receive your views as to possible changes to the General Regulatory Chamber Rules in relation to withdrawals of appeals. 
Closing date: 11 August 2020

Shortage occupation list: call for evidence (Consultation) 

In March 2020, the government commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to compile a UK shortage occupation list (SOL), which will primarily focus on occupations at RQF Level 3-5 (medium skill). This is to be reported in September 2020.

The Government wants to hear organisations’ views on the roles that are being filled by migrant workers, the salaries they are paid and implications of potential changes
Deadline: 24 June 2020

Spirals of inequality – how unpaid care is at the heart of gender inequalities

The Women’s Budget Group’s Commission for a Gender Equal Economy has been established to proactively develop alternative economic policies to promote gender equality in the UK. In this first report of the Commission, they set out the problem, tracing how inequalities between men and women are produced and maintained. The report begins by looking at the uneven division of unpaid work, examining how this constrains the economic opportunities of women and thereby sets in motion a pathway that leads to economic and social inequalities between men and women.

Universal Credit – The health impacts for people who are experiencing homelessness

Based on research and conversations with homeless people, the authors Groundswell draw three key points:

Assumed capacity – the UC system assumes that claimants have a range of social, cultural, and economic resources and capacities. Homelessness can be a cause or consequence of not having enough of these capacities. Furthermore, people experiencing homelessness are also more likely to have physical and mental health problems that can compound the existing challenges of making claims and engaging with the benefits system. The assumption of these capacities is contrary to many of the reasons people need to claim benefits in the first place. The UC system needs to be organised around assuming that people may have a range of vulnerabilities.

Small Charities Week Appreciation Day                            

Throughout the day on social media (follow us on twitter  and facebook) as we share some well deserved appreciation of those working and volunteering for small charities and their work.

Saturday 20th June

Poverty, housing and homelessness Meet-Up                  

A discussion for agencies working on poverty, housing and homelessness 

Monday 22nd June 2020 (1-2pm) 

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