Welcome to the latest issue of Fieldfisher's Charity Update.
There is a back to basics feel to this issue, as the Charity Commission issues guidance to charity trustees and new research demonstrates the value of small charities during the pandemic. Kids Company is back in the news as the trustees and chief executive win their fight against disqualification as directors. Finally, the Government has issued a call for evidence to assess the success of its coronavirus funding.Neil Palmer
19 February 2021
Charity Commission release "5 Minute Guides for Charity Trustees"
Charity Commission release a new collection of guidance on the basics that all charity trustees need to know.Charity Commission
18 February 2021
New report published on the value of small charities during the pandemic
Researchers from Sheffield Hallam, the Open University, IVAR and the University of Wolverhampton, have published 'The Value of Small in a Big Crisis". The report details how small charities "showed up and stuck around" during the pandemic. Click here for a two page summary of the report.Lloyds Bank Foundation
17 February 2021
Over 600 charities have signed an open letter to the Prime Minister urging for an 'Emergency Support Fund'
The social media campaign #RightNow has been organised by #NeverMoreNeeded to draw attention to the needs of various charities performing during COVID-19. See the open letter in full here.Never More Needed
16 February 2021
OSCR state 'Grace Period' is coming to an end, whilst also updating guidance on charity AGMs
The OSCR created an extended 'grace period' for charities to submit their annual information due to COVID-19 disruption. Charities with deadlines from 1 April 2021 will no longer receive additional time. The OSCR have also recently updated their 'Charity Meetings and Governance' guidance.OSCR
15 February 2021
Blondel Cluff CBE appointed as the next Chair of the National Lottery Community Fund
Blondel Cluff CBE will replace Tony Burton CBE as chair. The role will see her set the long term strategic direction for the largest funder of community activity in the UK.Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport & The National Lottery Community Fund
12 February 2021
Kids Company trustees and founder win disqualification fight
The High Court has rejected the claim by the Official Receiver that the leaders of the collapsed charity Kids Company should be disqualified from holding senior positions at other organisations. The Official Receiver had argued the former trustees and chief executive Camila Batmanghelidjh were "unfit" to hold directorships; the ruling however cleared them of all the allegations of serious incompetence. The ruling is good news to non-executive director and trustees who should not be deterred from joining charity boards (as warned by Mrs Justice Falk in her judgement), and should also be judged more leniently than those working on for-profit boards.Courts and Tribunals Judiciary
9 February 2021
Government launches 'call for evidence' on coronavirus funding
On 8 April 2020 HM Treasury announced £750 million of funding to help frontline charities continue to operate during the pandemic. DCMS and the Office for Civil Society worked to direct the funds to voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations. A call for evidence has been launched to work out how well the funding has been distributed and whether it has achieved its objectives. Find out more, or submit evidence here.UK Parliament
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