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Ask for Clive’s Danny Clare – seeking to make pubs and other venues safe and welcoming places for LGBT+ customers.
Receiving the plaudits of Sheffield luminaries at a special ceremony - St Vincent de Paul’s Ralph Dickens retires after being a member of the charity for 50 years and having raised over £1m during 18 years of fundraising.
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RICHARD BLAUSTEN, editor of CHARITIES MANAGEMENT, writes: Of course, charities are facing horrible financial pressures at the moment and this is reflected in some of the material below. Nevertheless, there is some strong funding coming from corporates and charitable foundations, and there are some encouraging individual donor trends. As evidenced by the good news stories which follow, there is financial light out there in the charity world even if immediate revenue challenges for many charities are so daunting.

Do have a great read of the whole NEWS section.

Important considerations when charities help trading arms

While most of the focus on charities’ financial difficulties during the current Covid crisis is naturally on the main activities related to achieving their objectives, those with trading subsidiaries are bound to be facing challenges. Accountancy and management firm Deloitte points out that this leads to questions around whether the parent charity can provide financial support for its subsidiary.

In a traditional commercial group scenario the parent might simply make an assessment of the subsidiary’s future financial prospects and act accordingly. But, says Deloitte, for charities the situation is more nuanced due to a number of issues that will need to be carefully considered by charity trustees and their advisers to mitigate the risk of corporation tax costs arising.

All this should be addressed within the context of general governance principles, according to Deloitte associate director Caroline Jackson. Trading subsidiaries are generally (but not exclusively) funded by their parent charities. However, says Jackson, the parent charity needs to be able to demonstrate that this is justifiable use of the charity’s funds.

Specifically charities should not be providing any type of support that could be viewed as a gift, e.g. purchasing stock for the subsidiary, donating goods/services to the subsidiary, allowing use of buildings, equipment, staff etc. at reduced rates, settling the debts of the subsidiary. When a subsidiary is in financial difficulty trustees may feel a moral obligation to support the subsidiary and may also be concerned about the reputational risks of having an insolvent or liquidated subsidiary.

However, warns Jackson, Charity Commission guidance is clear in underlining the risk that if a parent charity maintains a failing subsidiary at its own expense, the trustees may be personally liable for any losses to the charity. That is not to say that support cannot be given but thorough diligence should be undertaken to assess the future viability of the subsidiary, its ability to repay any funding provided and its capacity for future contribution to the charity as part of an assessment of whether the provision of support could be justified.

Overall, says Deloitte, the key driver for the decision on providing financial support will be a commercial one that considers the future prospects of the subsidiary and whether or not providing the support represents good use of the charity’s money/assets, etc. However, there could be tax cost implications of the decision which trustees need to be aware of and factor into their overall assessments.

Impact value urged in investment portfolios

According to analysis of charity filings by Tribe Impact Capital, in the past year UK charities have paid £686 million in fees for investment management and advice. The impact wealth manager is questioning whether charities are getting value for money in terms of how their money is invested, within the context of, for most charities, good investment management and advice being based around the most efficient use of their resources in supporting their charitable purpose.

Tribe says whilst the mission and aim will vary across these charities, it believes there are some key questions beyond financial return that trustees should be asking. Trustees are always balancing future risks and financial returns, but maybe they should be looking at other performance indicators.

The Tribe view is that the way an investment generates its returns is as important as the returns themselves. So if a business is addressing major challenges which are also the concern of the charity then it is worthy of investment attention. Thus investment managers should be aligning the goals or problems the charity has identified with what their investments are looking to achieve or solve. This is so the managers are making the most of that charity’s assets by using investments to help support their mission.

The result would be an investment portfolio that seeks to generate the financial returns needed, aligned to the mission of the charity, with the impact it wants to create. A better way of creating value with the investment portfolio.

Despite Covid charities benefit from inheritance planning

Although the charity sector has been hit hard by the impact of Covid-19 more individuals are factoring in supporting charitable causes as part of their own financial plans, says research from Rathbone Investment Management. Approximately £5tn is expected to be passed on from baby boomers to other generations over the next few years, according to probate and estate administration specialist Kings Court Trust, and with one in ten (11%) having already put a legacy in place, the great wealth transfer will see charities get a slice of the inheritance pie.

In a survey by Rathbone of investors with over £10,000 of investable assets, many have already made or plan to make charitable donations to cut their inheritance tax bill. The research found that a fifth (20%) plan to make a gift in the coming years, and 15% plan to make a legacy in the coming years. A fifth (20%) also plan to gift to charity or leave a legacy when they’re older and have more wealth.

But concerns over future wealth and care costs are also stopping people from gifting to charities. The research shows the Covid-19 crisis has undoubtedly affected many people’s finances, and subsequently drawn their purse strings tighter. One quarter (26%) of investors with over £10,000 investable assets said they may need access to their wealth to help them in retirement, and one fifth (19%) said they may need access to their wealth to help with the cost of care.

There also seems to be some misconceptions around charitable giving and leaving financial legacies. Well over a tenth (14%) said they were not aware of the benefits of gifting to charity and 14% felt they didn’t have enough wealth to gift at all.

Emma Watson, head of financial planning at Rathbone, says: “Covid-19 has forced many of us to get our financial affairs in order, whether that be getting a will in place or putting together a financial plan. Charities are already facing a huge funding shortfall because of the pandemic, so it will be welcome news to them that so many people are factoring in leaving a legacy in their wills, often to reduce IHT.”

Enabling an easier life with bicycles to help African youngsters like these attend school and receive healthcare. Thus World Bicycle Relief is a charity Raleigh employees can easily identify with.

Cycle charity gets the perfect partner for 2021

World Bicycle Relief has been chosen as the 2021 charity partner of bike brand Raleigh. The partnership will see activities rolled out at Raleigh offices throughout the year, including quarterly virtual challenges, participation in and joint promotion of larger fundraising events and a salary sacrifice scheme for employees wishing to donate to the charity.

Raleigh’s target for these activities is to raise enough money to allow an entire school of students to receive World Bicycle Relief’s purpose-built Buffalo bikes, helping them get to school and finish their education.

Supporting this will be a social media, newsletter programme and blog series distributed by Raleigh to consumers to promote the charity partnership. These will share first-hand accounts of the charity’s work taking place internationally and how World Bicycle Relief’s mission is progressing. The aim is to increase awareness of the charity amongst bike enthusiasts and ultimately encourage donations to the charity.

World Bicycle Relief is currently celebrating the 15th year since its inception, having given life-changing mobility to 2.9 million people in 21 countries. It has delivered 540,000 Buffalo bikes to students, healthcare workers and entrepreneurs, enabling them to overcome the challenges faced by walking long distances on foot.

Lee Kidger, managing director of Raleigh UK & Ireland, says: “We feel really honoured to embarking on this partnership and we’ll be supporting this venture with some amazing, eye-catching initiatives that are really going to help our fundraising targets.”

Charities’ efforts hit by financial pressures

Almost two in three (62%) of charities say they will be less able to reach the recipients who benefit from their services, despite a 25% increase in demand for their services, according to research from Sage Foundation. Over two thirds (68%) say they are at risk of going into administration, while four in five (80%) cite a continued lack of funding as the sector’s biggest obstacle. This amounts to 72% of charities who say they will be less able to deliver their projects or undertake work in 2021.

Almost a third (31%) of charities expect their funding to decrease by as much as half from 2020, a year in which financial support was already heavily depleted due to Covid-19.

Funding across multiple channels, including government and public fundraising, has dramatically dropped. Just 11% received the majority of their funding from public fundraising in 2021, versus 20% of those who received the same in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Similarly, just 12% received the majority of their funding from commissioned services, for example government awarded funds or contracts, versus 21% pre-pandemic.

Some charities have identified ways in which they could overcome these challenges and could get access to better funding. Over two thirds (67%) say better skills at pitching for funding, including better organisational financial literacy could improve their funding chances in 2021.

According to Sage Foundation, charities often lack specific skills such as financial management due to resource constraints, with 65,000 job losses in the sector in 2020 compounding this issue.

Paul Struthers, managing director of Sage UK and Ireland, says: “It would be another sad legacy of this pandemic if two in three UK charities go into administration, particularly when demand for their services is at an all-time high. Organisational financial literacy is key to supporting charities to adapt and build confidence for the future.”

£4.8m gets new foundation off to big start

After such a challenging year for charities, the Cadent Foundation has confirmed it has awarded more than £4.8 million to charitable organisations in its first year. Funded by local gas network Cadent, the foundation has awarded 100 new grants to charities and organisations working across the North West, West Midlands, East of England and North London. Since January 2020, grants of between £1,000 and £1.5 million have been given to projects which support its objectives - to help people living in vulnerable situations and energy poor communities; protect and preserve the natural environment; and create a sustainable energy future for all.

These grants have supported a wide array of initiatives such as helping people increase their income and reduce energy bills, improving access to STEM careers and mentoring opportunities for young people, reducing social isolation through practical conservation projects, as well as research studies around green energy.

The foundation also launched a Covid-19 Response Fund with a £240,000 emergency grant to the Trussell Trust to support food banks and £100,000 to the Royal Voluntary Service to aid its NHS Responder project. In addition, up to £125,000 of small grants were given to charities and groups delivering to those most vulnerable in their local communities – supporting everything from food parcels, to pre-school starter packs and helping the homeless into temporary accommodation.

Among grants not related to responding to Covid was £253,618 to The Wildlife Trusts – a movement of 46 charities across the UK – to enable the extension of wellbeing projects that are focused on connecting people with nature in deprived, urban areas.

Over 2021, the Cadent Foundation is looking to increase the amount of funding awarded, pledging up to £7 million to support charities and organisations across its networks. Julia Dwyer, director of the foundation, says: “Our role will be to continue to build on what we have achieved and work with charities and partners to explore how we can use our resources and expertise to maximise the positive impact we can have together.”

Core funding for philanthropy centre

Pears Foundation has become the first core funder this year of the University of Kent’s Centre for Philanthropy, providing £210,000 to help it continue to develop innovative teaching and education for charity sector professionals.

Since 2012, Pears Foundation has made three grants to the Centre, totalling £300,000. These grants have supported the launch of a Master’s degree in Philanthropic Studies, funded the publication of a book on “Why Rich People Give”, and helped launch a free online course in “How to Fundraise”. Together these initiatives have helped improve the understanding and practice of philanthropy and fundraising, reaching practitioners and students in over 100 countries.

Sir Trevor Pears, executive chair of Pears Foundation, says: “We have been involved with Kent’s Centre for Philanthropy for a decade and are delighted to provide core funding so that they can continue to thrive and do valuable research and teaching that has a real impact on building a more generous and kinder society.”

Boost for music for people with dementia

The Music for Dementia campaign, supported by the Utley Foundation, has kicked off 2021 with the launch of the Paul and Nick Harvey Fund to directly support musical activities for people living with dementia. Registered charities and community interest companies delivering music to people with dementia will benefit from the £500,00 fund, which came from the Hunter Foundation.

Beneficiaries will be providers of all different types of musical offers and services from across the UK for people living with dementia in their local community. Of particular interest to Music for Dementia and the Utley Foundation for shortlisting are those who have developed innovative approaches to delivering music during Covid-19, and those working with BAME groups and communities.

The money from the new fund came after Sir Tom Hunter heard about Paul and Nick Harvey via BBC Breakfast. Paul Harvey is a former classical pianist and music teacher, now in his 80s, who lives with dementia. His spontaneous Four Notes composition, videoed by his son Nick, went viral across social media in September 2020. it was orchestrated by a BBC Philharmonic player and recorded by the BBC Philharmonic in October, then made available as a single. Music for Dementia was nominated by the father and son to receive half of the sales proceeds alongside Alzheimer’s Society.

Sir Tom Hunter says: “Paul and Nick are an inspiration to us all, underscoring the power of music to support those afflicted by the awful impact of dementia. Music for Dementia is an amazing force in delivering support to grass roots organisations offering music therapy and we are proud to support this fund.”

Breakfast food for vulnerable people

UK breakfast company FUEL10K has joined forces with charitable food redistributors Fareshare for a nationwide porridge donation project. Throughout the month of February, FUEL10K will be donating a portion of porridge for every pot it sells.

Through on-shelf promotions, and with its nationwide listings with supermarkets, online retailers and convenience stores, the food company would normally expect to sell more than 500,000 of its Protein Boosted Porridge in one month alone.

This means that more than 10 tonnes of FUEL10K porridge will be donated to support the many frontline charities and community groups which Fareshare works with to redistribute food to charities which turn them into meals.

Since it was founded in 1994 Fareshare has redistributed 4,074 tonnes of food to charities. This equates to 57.3 million meals provided to vulnerable people.

Bond issue works for care home charity

The fact that even during Covid charities can raise money through bond issues has been underlined by how quickly a charity bond offer for Greensleeves Homes Trust was snapped up in a mere nine working days, being oversubscribed and having to close early. Despite current grim news generally for the care home sector it indicates there is financial support out there.

The offer of 5% bonds due 2030, from special purpose issuer Retail Charity Bonds raised £15 million from investors, while a further £10 million will be retained and may be sold at a later date to raise additional funding for the charity as required.

This will be the tenth successful issue of bonds through the Retail Charity Bonds platform since it was launched in 2014, taking the total issued through the platform to date to over £300 million. Allia C&C was the lead manager for the bond issue.

Greensleeves Homes Trust provides care for older people with over 1,000 bed spaces across 25 residential, dementia and nursing homes across London, South and East England, and the Midlands.

Paul Newman, chief executive of Greensleeves Homes Trust, says: “This a great result for Greensleeves Care and strong recognition by the investor community in our business case which is based around providing the best quality of care we can to our many residents across the country. The funds raised will support us in delivering on our strategic ambitions of further expanding and modernising the care and support we offer for the benefit of all our stakeholders, but most importantly our residents, their families and our staff.”

Adrian Bell, CEO of finance company Allia C&C, observes: “The Covid-19 pandemic has firmly thrust ESG into the spotlight, with investors keen to support resilient businesses that also make a positive social impact. We are thrilled to have been able to support Greensleeves Homes Trust in raising this funding to support them in delivering on their future care and growth ambitions.”

UK climbs most generous donor rankings

Social fundraising platform GoFundMe has announced the UK is the third most generous country in the world - climbing up the ranks since its fifth place position the previous year. It has also announced the UK’s most generous cities with Derry/Londonderry taking the top spot off last year’s winner Edinburgh.

The most generous countries based on the number of donations per capita in 2020 via the platform were as follows: 1. Ireland, 2. United States, 3. United Kingdom, 4. Canada, 5. Australia, 6. Netherlands, 7. Italy, 8. Luxembourg, 9. Switzerland, 10. Denmark.

The UK’s most generous cities are: 1. Londonderry, 2. Cambridge, 3. Edinburgh, 4. Bath, 5. Luton.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the GoFundMe community has responded to the widespread impact with an extraordinary level of generosity. Between March and August of this year, more than £450 million worldwide was raised through more than nine million donations for people and charities affected by the pandemic.

John Coventry, GoFundMe’s senior international director, says: “The depth and breadth of kindness shown across the UK in 2020 has given us all some inspiration in a year to forget. It’s an important reminder that even during such a difficult year, humanity and generosity have shone brightly.”

In 2020 nearly 30% of donors made more than one donation. In the UK the most prolific donor gave 145 times to 139 different fundraisers. Fastest growing donor categories (separate from emergencies) were business, community and faith. More than 55,000 donations were made on 2 June , making it the most popular day to donate in the UK.

Major award begins help project for unpaid carers

Carers Trust has been given £1 million which it will use to help thousands of exhausted, unpaid carers access much-needed respite services and breaks from their round-the-clock caring roles. The £1 million is jointly awarded by Pears Foundation, already a long term core funder of Carers Trust and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The grant is funded through the Government’s Community Match Challenge scheme which was introduced to support frontline charities working with those most affected by Covid-19, and is part of the Government’s £750 million charities package. Thus the Pears Foundation has contributed £500,000.

Carers Trust points out that Even before Coronavirus, unpaid carers were exhausted, with many saying they had reached breaking point. Coronavirus has significantly exacerbated burnout among unpaid carers and the need for properly funded respite breaks for carers has never been more urgent. The trust emphasises that respite breaks are not holidays; they are a basic necessity, helping unpaid carers recharge and re-energise so they can continue their caring role.

In the first phase of the project, two thousand carers will be supported in the period up to the end of March 2021. Carers Trust will initially work with 37 of its Network Partners, distributing grants so carers can access local respite provision as well as replacement care. The funding will also develop infrastructure to provide longer-term benefits for unpaid carers. This will include training of volunteers to offer virtual online support and telephone befriending services, as well as counselling services and food box deliveries.

Carers Trust is separately developing its own Respite Fund for unpaid carers. The fund will continue work to provide respite breaks for carers following completion of the first phase of funding delivered by the DCMS and Pears Foundation. The Carers Trust fund, to be named the Princess Royal Respite Fund for Carers, will aim to secure long term funding from a range of actors including trusts and foundations, major donors, corporate supporters and members of the public. The fund is scheduled to launch in early summer next year.

Raffle site aims high for 2021

Online raffle site Raffolux is set to donate more than £1.3 million in 2021 with partners including Great Ormond Street Hospital, Worldwide Cancer Research, Mental Health UK, the Bradley Lowery Foundation and Pacific Oceans UK set to benefit. This is based on 10% of estimated ticket sales going to charity. Established just over a year ago, the site raised £100,000 before setting its 2021 target.

Neil Woodley, head of partnerships at Worldwide Cancer Research, says: “Despite the lull in donations and new challenges we face due to the current climate, we have been able to rely on Raffolux for steady donations, receiving over £20,000 in donations to date. The website is transparent, trusted by both us and consumers taking part. We’re excited to see how this partnership plays out.”

Barbara Windsor donation page success

A donation page set up to support dementia research in memory of Dame Barbara Windsor has now raised over £200,000, with £150,000 donated in the first three weeks. The Just Giving space was created at the request of Dame Barbara’s husband Scott Mitchell, who asked people to donate to Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Looking forward to opening time

One new charity leader who is waiting for pubs to be able to open properly is Danny Clare who is looking forward to develop the Ask for Clive campaign, an initiative begun by a group of pubs in Hertfordshire to welcome the LGBTQ+ community into pubs and ensure venues are more inclusive.

Towards the end of last year Danny was able to launch Ask for Clive as a charity but lockdown and entertainment restrictions posed a significant challenge. Did this mean Danny simply put his feet up while waiting for opening time when it eventually came?

Not at all. The charity has used the breathing space to plan for signing up more pubs to the Ask for Clive scheme which originally had pubs putting rainbow stickers on display to let customers know that if they see any discrimination or abuse of LGBT+ drinkers they can discreetly report it to the bar staff by “asking for Clive”.

So in future supporting pubs and other venues – such as bars, restaurants, cafes, gyms and sports clubs - will have Ask for Clive stickers on their doors to let people know that “Everyone is Welcome Here” and that discrimination will not be tolerated. Briefing packs will be provided for venues to use to train staff to respond if any form of discrimination or hate crime is observed or reported.

The charity also works with local communities and venues, and collaborates with law enforcement on training and reporting initiatives.

Charity fundraiser receives tributes

Lord Blunkett has led tributes to charity fundraiser Ralph Dickins, who has raised over £1 million for vulnerable people in Sheffield, as he retires from the St Vincent’s Furniture Store in the city.

Since 2003, Ralph Dickins, 81, has been the part-time fundraiser for the store at 280 Queens Road, which has collected and redistributed recycled furniture and household items to Sheffield’s vulnerable and disadvantaged people since 1987. During his 18-year fundraising tenure at St Vincent’s, Ralph and the team have helped tens of thousands of families and individuals to rebuild their lives.

Following the sale of his family’s commercial printing business in the city, Ralph, who has been a member of volunteering charity the St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) for 52 years, wanted to turn his local knowledge and talents to good use. He gained experience of fundraising through lectures held by the South Yorkshire Funding Advice Bureau, and his business acumen allowed him to expand funding for the furniture store.

Ralph says: “I joined the SVP aged 30. It was a family tradition; my father and brother were also members at Our Lady and St Thomas SVP Conference in Hallam. SVP members change the lives of others by doing the little things very well. We give people what they need to change their lives for the better. Sometimes it’s friendship, at other times it might be a food parcel or household essentials. Whatever we do, we do it with compassion and without judgment.”

Lord Blunkett, a former Sheffield MP and former Home Secretary, says: “The city of Sheffield owes Ralph Dickins a deep debt of gratitude for his decades of tireless work supporting anyone in need. He has selflessly given his time and skills to raise money for St Vincent’s Sheffield, and in doing so he has helped thousands of people to live a better life and regain their dignity.”

Founded in 1833, the St Vincent de Paul Society now has 800,000 volunteers operating in 150 countries worldwide, including 10,000 in England and Wales.

Charity funded discovery to combat disability

Research published in Acta Neuropathologica has identified a new focus in the ongoing search for multiple sclerosis (MS) treatments, thanks to a discovery of which brain cells are most affected by neurodegeneration. The team at the MS Society Edinburgh Centre for MS Research believes its findings could lead to vital new treatments that help prevent disability in those with the condition.

The primarily MS Society funded study, which analysed post-mortem brain tissue samples from people who had been living with MS, found a dramatic reduction in the number of inhibitory brain cells (or neurons) compared to people without the condition. Conversely the number of stimulating neurons remained the same – even in people who had MS for decades.

Professor Anna Williams, who led the study at the University of Edinburgh, explains: “Our research has shown that a specific type of neuron, called an inhibitory interneuron, is damaged in people with MS. This is really important because, in the search for new treatments, it focuses our efforts on trying to stop the damage and death of these special cells. Our next step is to convert this knowledge into new treatments that protect nerves and prevent neurodegeneration – and ultimately disability – in people living with MS.”

Dr Emma Gray, assistant director of research at the MS Society, says: “Work like this, which is based at our Edinburgh Centre and used samples from the MS Society Tissue Bank, shows just how important charity funded research is to the overall research landscape, and we’re proud to have made it possible.”

The Stop MS Appeal has already raised over £54 million of its £100 million target.

Diversity and integrity code updates

The Charity Governance Code Steering Group, which sets out principles of good governance practice for charities in England and Wales, has published a refreshed version of the code. The main changes see clearer recommended practice in the renamed Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Principle, and updates to the Integrity Principle to emphasise ethics and the right of everyone who has contact with a charity to be safe.

Rosie Chapman, chair of the Charity Governance Code Steering Group, says: “These improvements to the Charity Governance Code reflect changes in society and the broader context in which charities are working. The updated code is designed to help charities adopt good practice and secure better outcomes for the communities they serve.

“We know that charities are at varying stages in their efforts to fully adopt the code, including in achieving equality of opportunity, diversity and inclusion, and the updated code is designed to help charities on this journey.”

The code recommends four stages of practice for charities in their EDI journey. Boards should:

  1. Think about why equality, diversity and inclusion is important for the charity and assess the current level of understanding.
  2. Set out plans and targets tailored to the charity and its starting point.
  3. Monitor and measure how well the charity is doing.
  4. Be transparent and publish the charity’s progress.

Pari Dhillon, the independent EDI consultant who advised the steering group on the changes, says: “EDI practice sits at the heart of good governance, and I’d argue you can’t have one without the other.” This is because:

  • To maximise public benefit, boards must focus on achieving equality of outcomes through their charitable purpose.
  • To make better and more informed decisions, boards must be diverse, reflecting and centring the voices of the community and needs that the charity seeks to serve.
  • To make robust decisions, all board members must have the power to fully participate and societal power imbalances must be prevented from playing out in an inclusive board room.

Regarding the strengthening of the Integrity Principle, Rosie Chapman explains: “We’ve updated this to reflect the importance of everyone who comes into contact with a charity being treated with dignity and respect and to feel that they are in a safe and supportive environment.”

In particular, the code includes new recommended practice on the right to be safe (safeguarding) that asks trustees to:

  • Understand their safeguarding responsibilities.
  • Establish appropriate procedures that are integrated with the charity’s risk management approach.
  • Ensure that everyone in contact with the charity knows how to speak up and raise concerns.

The Charity Governance Code is overseen by a steering group comprising Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO), Association of Chairs, ICSA: The Chartered Governance Institute, National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), Small Charities Coalition (SCC) and Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA). The Charity Commission is an observer.

Corporate commits to support digital learning

Dixons Carphone is to give £1 million as part of a longer term commitment to help end digital poverty in the UK. The business behind Currys PC World and Carphone Warehouse is working with the Learning Foundation to give £1 million to the charity’s Digital Access For All (DAFA) programme to support digital learning.

This will also equip 1,000 teachers and teaching assistants with the technology for delivering high quality home schooling to 30,000 disadvantaged pupils during the pandemic and beyond.

The retailer will also become one of three founding partners in the Digital Poverty Alliance (DPA), a group of organisations brought together by DAFA and the Institution of Engineering and Technology to tackle digital poverty in the UK, particularly for disadvantaged children.

Dixons Carphone will work with the DPA as they draw together the partnership which will include major companies, local and national government departments and enterprises, charities and community organisation. Digital Access For All founding partners include Nominet, Intel, Microsoft, BT and Lloyds Bank.

Dixons Carphone will bring its special expertise in areas such as trade-in, repair, recycling and services, as well as utilise its extensive, national distribution and retail network, to help the alliance achieve scale in their ambitions.

Alex Baldock, CEO of Dixons Carphone, says: “Our business exists to help everyone enjoy amazing technology. We’re already helping thousands of older people to digitally connect through our partnership with Age UK and now we’re stepping up to tackle the digital divide in education.”

Paul Finnis, CEO of the Learning Foundation, says: “We could not be more excited to have Dixons Carphone on board. With the pandemic having only exacerbated the digital divide, having a specialist retailer with the expertise, size and scale of Dixons Carphone will be game changing.”

Plastic bag sales help charity

Poundland’s Welsh stores have donated £136,559 to Cancer Research Wales from the 5p charge on the sale of plastic carrier bags. The discount retailer has been donating money from bag sales to the charity since the levy was introduced in 2011 and the total raised has now passed £500,000.

The money has been used in ground-breaking research projects into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in Wales. The projects include the development of a blood test for early detection of bowel cancer by Swansea University.

Poundland is committed to reducing the number of bags in landfill and ensures all plastic bags sold in stores are made from recyclable material.


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