Thursday 15 October 2009

Members, Boards and Palaces

There have been a range of ACEVO members on the airwaves recently highlighting the work of our sector.

"Save the Family" is a dynamic charity run by ACEVO member Tim McLachlan and on Monday night was featured on 'The One Show' on BBC 1. The programme was reporting on 'mending broken Britain'. As the recent political announcements by both the Conservative and Labour Party Conferences have highlighted - they want to focus on the family. Save the Family is showcased as the alternative to smashing failing families apart by taking children into care by taking the whole family into a caring environment instead.

And then on Tuesday Clare Tickell, one of the sector's greats , ACEVO member and CEO of Action for children was on The Today programme launching their " Wake up to neglect" campaign.

Serious neglect kills - and, worryingly, studies suggest that up to 10% of children experience neglect.

That's why Action for children are launching an urgent appeal to make the UK wake up to neglect, and raise £17 million over the next three years to help neglected children.

Clare had followed ACEVO member Mark Lever, CEO of the National Autistic Society, on The Today programme talking about the problems of autism .

Together these show the great contribution we make to building a better society and indeed shows how crucial our role is.

And this was one of the issues we were discussing in our ACEVO Board Awayday on Wednesday. A good discussion on how we tackle the potential of change that will be posed by a new Government facing public spending cuts. There was strong agreement that ACEVO has to be there to provide support and advice to members in a potentially challenging and changed economy. There will be opportunities, particularly in service delivery, but also dangers if there are major cuts to grants and other supports to our sector. What will Local Authorities do, for example? How can we protect the most vulnerable smaller charities in our membership? How do we ensure we provide solutions to Government which enable more cost effective delivery? But whatever happens ACEVO has to be there to put the sector case and provide solutions, not whinging (however tempting that might occasionally be!).

And to round off the day I went to a reception at Lambeth Palace thrown by His Grace The Archbishop (occasional Charlbury resident!). Heaving with ACEVO members from the CEO of the Imperial War Museum and the General Secretary of the Church of England, to the CEOs of CAFOD and Christian Aid to mention just a few. I managed to speak to most of the Bishops there, as you do, and gained merit which I then dissipated by gossiping with Nick Robinson and Jim McNaughtie. The story about GB I could not possibly repeat on my blog. Got home in time to see same Nick Robinson on the BBC News outside No 10 talking about Afghanistan!

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