Charity Matters Apr/May 2018 ISSUE 78

DAZED AND CONFUSED Some small charities in the sector admit that they are unsure whether or not they are compliant with the new GDPR standards (General Data …

RNIB INVESTIGATED Investigations are taking place at the Royal National Institute for Blind People’s (RNIB) Pears Centre for Specialist Learning near Coventry following a …

CHARITIES TOO? The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is set to get new powers to hold directors of nuisance call companies personally liable for payment of …

BLIND STUPIDITY? Two in three of the UK’s health trusts are ignoring new orders to offer cataract surgery to all those sufferers whose doctors believe they would benefit…

FILLING THEIR BOOTS FROM CHARITY A charitable scheme to supply cars for disabled people in exchange for their state disability allowance has been slammed …

KILL A BADGER FOR £50 A new government scheme has been launched to kill badgers, a protected species, in areas of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) outbreaks, even …

CHARITY OFFICER JAILED A jail sentence of one year has been given to a charity finance officer who stole more than £53,000. Gemma Mason, 36, bought more than …

DO AS WE SAY, NOT DO The Church of England has been accused of hypocrisy for attacking greedy City bonus cultures after it has emerged that their charity …

DAZED AND CONFUSED

Some small charities in the sector admit that they are unsure whether or not they are compliant with the new GDPR standards (General Data Protection Regulations) which came into force at 12:01 am on Friday May 25.

These require organisations to ensure that they have consent to directly contact those who are not currently dealing with them, such as potential customers, subscribers or donors. They also give these groups the right to know what data is held on them and what use it is put to, as well as the right to be able to easily unsubscribe from contact lists, a right that also applies to customers.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has been at pains to reassure organisations that the Draconian fines quoted in some media of up to 20 million euros, or 4% of turnover, whichever is the greater, apply to persistent lawbreakers, rather than those who seek advice from ICO on how to comply, and then act on it.

The new regulations have seen lots of organisations seeking permission to carry on emailing, and given lots of victims the chance to not respond and thus conveniently unsubscribe, actions that an email from the Labour Party claimed would “ruin Jeremy Corbyn’s birthday”.

RNIB INVESTIGATED

Investigations are taking place at the Royal National Institute for Blind People’s (RNIB) Pears Centre for Specialist Learning near Coventry following a number of “serious incidents” reported by the charity. One recent allegation was of a “sexual nature” and was followed by the resignation of the charity’s chief executive, Sally Harvey, who joined eight months ago.

The Pears Centre is a residential facility for young people who are blind or partially sighted, as well as some who have learning difficulties or disabilities.

The Charity Commission is concerned that the incidents there may indicate that there has been a failure on the part of the RNIB to “comply with regulations designed to safeguard and protect vulnerable children” Ofsted have rated the centre “inadequate” and have threatened to withdraw its registration.

CHARITIES TOO?

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is set to get new powers to hold directors of nuisance call companies personally liable for payment of fines. Currently fines are imposed on the company, which the directors can simply wind up, leaving the ICO unable to collect the fine, and then commence trading under another name, all perfectly legally.

One serial exponent, closing down two nuisance call companies and thus avoiding nearly £2million in fines was Gregg Rudd, whose success has helped firm up the conviction of the authorities that something had to be done.

Last year, according to Ofcom 3.9 billion nuisance phone calls and texts were made, equating to 7,420 per minute, mostly associated with bogus personal injury and insurance claims, payment protection insurance and pensions.

It is not known if those who run charities that make nuisance calls, or employ someone else to do so, will also be held personally liable.

BLIND STUPIDITY?

Two in three of the UK’s health trusts are ignoring new orders to offer cataract surgery to all those sufferers whose doctors believe they would benefit. Instead most of the trusts are only offering to treat cataracts where patients are nearly blind with them, on the grounds of saving costs.

This has been described as “inhumane” and “profoundly stupid” by the Daily Mail newspaper which, along with the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) and Age UK point out that denying cataract sufferers the simple and quick operation is a false economy since those with failing sight are more prone to falls, incapacity and mental illness, ending up costing the NHS even more.

FILLING THEIR BOOTS FROM CHARITY

A charitable scheme to supply cars for disabled people in exchange for their state disability allowance has been slammed by MPs after it emerged that its chief executive was taking £1.7 million a year out of the scheme.

This was the “totally unacceptable” salary paid to Mike Betts the CEO of Motability Operations, a taxpayer-funded monopoly organisation with no competitors that pays some of its other directors £1+ million salaries and allows banks to rake off £700,000 a year from their involvement. Motability is also hoarding £2.4billion of public money and Betts lives in a £5million flat overlooking Tower Bridge.

Initial investigations into the greed at Motability were carried out by the Daily Mail and the firm is now being probed by the National Audit Office (NAO).

KILL A BADGER FOR £50

A new government scheme has been launched to kill badgers, a protected species, in areas of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) outbreaks, even where it is unlikely that badgers given the disease by infected cattle are re-infecting the cattle. Infected cattle moved by farmers from one farm to another are usually the reason for badgers and deer catching the disease.

To encourage the killing the government’s Natural England office is offering shooters, who can also be farmers, up to £50 per badger corpse.

The scheme has been described by the RSPCA as “inhumane, ineffective and costly” and by the Wildlife Trusts, which has banned the culling on its 2,300 nature reserves, as “scientifically unsound”. The Badger Trust also describes the cull as “flawed science” and is supporting a High Court challenge to the government in the form of a judicial review.

CHARITY OFFICER JAILED

A jail sentence of one year has been given to a charity finance officer who stole more than £53,000.

Gemma Mason, 36, bought more than 1,000 items from Amazon using the credit card issued to her by NSA Afan, a community regeneration group. The items included luxury handbags, and shoes, fake tan, diamantes and frilly underwear.

Admitting fraud the mother of two from Neath, West Glamorgan was told by Judge Geraint Walters “This was a serious breach of trust”.

DO AS WE SAY, NOT DO

The Church of England has been accused of hypocrisy for attacking greedy City bonus cultures after it has emerged that their charity investment manager was paid a bonus of more than £250,000 last year.

Tom Joy, 45, was paid a total of more than £500,000 by the Church Commissioners for England, making him one of the highest-paid charity executives in the UK.

Event Organisers Update May 2018 ISSUE 163

TRUST YOUR PILOT Well? Of course you do – they transport millions of people every year from A to B in perfect safety, don’t they? Of course there are times it goes …

FLOORED AT GROSVENOR HOUSE The Royal Caledonian Ball, an exclusive £265 a ticket Scottish dancing event attracting 700 guests fell apart earlier this month as the …

BOAT SHOW SUNK The London Boat Show, due to be held at Excel, 9-13 January 2019 has been cancelled. Organisers British Marine say that there was little support …

MONET COLLECTION For lovers of art, especially that by a Claude Monet, 1840-1926, the National Gallery has an exhibition featuring more than 70 of the artist’s works…

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KRAKOW A highlight of our recent fam trip to five-star Marriott in Poland was the night and day spent in Krakow, a real jewel of a city in one of the most visited areas in the …

VODKA HEAVEN For those who like vodka a trip to Poland offers an opportunity to try some of the hundreds of types on offer and our recent fam trip to Warsaw and …

THE OLD DARK HOUSE Horror films used to frighten audiences to death, until comic send ups appeared at the cinema encouraging the frightened to not take it all too …