Tuesday 16 December 2014

Good with Money and Carols

Well, another Carol Concert, this time at the House of St Barnabas, that wonderful charity in Soho which helps young people into training and jobs. The House is an elegant Soho Georgian townhouse which used to provide hostel accommodation for young girls. It was established in the 19th century by a religious order, so it comes complete with Chapel; an ideal place for a carol concert. Sandra Schembri, the CEO, is a valued ACEVO member and I like to show support. The house had to stop providing hostel accommodation because it became unsuitable, so Sandra came up with the great idea of turning the House in to a social leaders club, for which it is eminently suitable. It provides both  training and job placement for the young people they help. The Club generates revenue to support the charity. A brilliant place. Worth joining! 

Afterwards a lovely Christmas dinner at L'Escargot with my partner. 

Yesterday also saw the launch of the final report of the ACEVO Commission on Ethical and Responsible Investment and the role of charities. It’s a comprehensive guide for charity leaders, to help them ensure any reserves are invested in line with their organisations' missions. Last December's BBC Panorama programme showed the potential risks for charity leaders and trustees who delegate control over their investment portfolios. We had a lively debate to launch the report, with contributions from Investment managers, the Shadow Minister Chi Onwurah MP, chair of the ACEVO Commission Martin Clarke, and Catherine Howarth of ShareAction. As I wrote to ACEVO members yesterday, the report contains a wealth of information and I hope all charity leaders will read it and pass it on to their boards!

And so tonight, inevitably, off to another Carol Concert. This time its the annual Bubb Clan gathering at the Royal Albert Hall where the Royal Choral Society are performing in a marvellous show of carols and readings, complete with trumpeters from The Guards Brigade. My sister Lucy is in the RCS and will be singing; so family all there to show support. And have jolly Christmas fun! And that's the last Carols for a while, till the beautiful 9 Lessons and Carols in the small Norman Church in Shorthampton on Sunday.

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