On 11 May the government published the Procurement Bill. The bill aims to improve regulation of public procurement – the process central and local government go through to source and purchase goods, works or services.
Procurement is one part of a wider commissioning process that many charities engage with to deliver support to people across a range of areas from criminal justice to social care. In 2018/19, charities delivered £15.8 billion worth of public services on behalf of the government – a full quarter of the voluntary sector’s income.
The bill could have tangible implications for charities that currently deliver public services, as well as those that may wish to in the future.
Banking is a fundamental requirement for the voluntary sector, yet a growing number of charities are struggling to find banking services that meet their needs.
Over 1200 voluntary organisations responded to a survey commissioned by the Civil Society Group between March and May 2022. The results have produced a wealth of detailed information about the issues charities are facing. This Briefing is the first in a series that will cover the wide range of issues identified.
Briefing No.1 explores four key messages that connect all respondents’ experiences:
Services that charities need are increasingly unavailable
Services that are available are not suited to the way that charities operate
Charities often encounter poor customer service
Online banking is not designed for or accessible to charities
A free two-month online course for mental health organisations who want to jump start their communications strategy.
Media Trust’s Headlining Mental Health programme supports UK mental health organisations to strengthen their strategic communications so they can increase their visibility and reach, challenge stigma and get their voices heard.
The programme includes:
Three live online training workshops delivered by a specialist trainer, with templates to complete
Three live online support clinics with industry experts after every session
Peer networking which will allow you to meet people from organisations across the UK and work together
A bonus masterclass from Creative Agency Few and Far on free ways to optimise your website
Health inequalities are avoidable, unfair and systematic differences in health between different groups of people. There are many kinds of health inequality, and many ways in which the term is used. This means that when we talk about ‘health inequality’, it is useful to be clear on which measure is unequally distributed, and between which people.
Health inequalities are ultimately about differences in the status of people’s health. But the term is also used to refer to differences in the care that people receive and the opportunities that they have to lead healthy lives – both of which can contribute to their health status. Health inequalities can therefore involve differences in:
health status, for example, life expectancy
access to care, for example, availability of given services
quality and experience of care, for example, levels of patient satisfaction
behavioural risks to health, for example, smoking rates
wider determinants of health, for example, quality of housing.
Recruitment for roles on a new small charities advisory panel is now underway following the closure of the Small Charities Coalition (SCC). The Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) and NCVO are organising the panel as part of its new collaboration to deliver key services for small charities after the closure of SCC in March.
Services from the SCC have been transferred to the FSI and NCVO’s partnership. These include the SCC Helpdesk, The Charity Set Up Tool and a maintenance and resource hub for small charities.
The small charities advisory panel will ensure the voices of small charities continue to be heard in the transfer of SCC services, the partnership has said. The partnership wants the panel to offer insight and take into consideration the SCC’s closing report, Small and Mighty, on the needs of small charities.
The charities minister has said that civil society should be “embedded in every single part of the government”. Speaking at an all-party parliamentary group in the Houses of Parliament yesterday, Nigel Huddleston described himself as the “lead” minister for civil society, arguing that all government departments should be focused on the sector.
At the event, Huddleston said the government was looking at simplifying the safeguarding process for volunteers.
He said: “Everybody needs to take safeguarding seriously because I’m afraid there are just too many incidents where, if we don’t keep an eye on it, bad things happen. “I know there are a lot of complaints about it and I understand that. We are trying to simplify it as much as possible, but it is part of the required process.” Also at the event, representatives of the Vision for Volunteering initiative said it would not “be prescriptive” in measuring the programme’s impact.
There is a new police initiative for people with hearing impairments, from Friday 17th June, it is a 999 999 British Sign Language (BSL) app which will allow deaf people to contact emergency services using a BSL interpreter via video, see below link.