Disgraced chief of the Royal Bank of Scotland Sir Fred Goodwin has been forced to step down as chairman of the Princes Trust, Prince Charles’ personal charity.

Goodwin leaves in June after a six year tenure and amid concerns that a business charity for young people should not have a man responsible for so much economic damage as its lead and role model.

Meanwhile a 22-year old man in Falmouth has hanged himself after a £2,000 bank loan mushroomed, through unpaid interest and bankers penalty charges to £25,000 in two years, although this has nothing, of course, to do with the above.


The head of the children’s charity Barnardos, Martin Narey has attracted passionate criticism for seeming to suggest that had Baby P not been murdered his background suggests he may have grown up to become “feral, a parasite, helping to infest our streets”.  (Private Eye).  Reportedly Narey, a former head of the Prison Service, had previously stated that to label children was to reinforce their disadvantages.

In a letter to the Daily Telegraph Narey also suggested that more, not less children from problem families should be taken away from their parents and placed in care, rather than keeping the family together at all costs.


A promoter of charity events has been ordered by a court to pay back £2.8 million to the sponsor.  (Audience).

British born promoter Tory Hollingsworth was successfully sued by the Singapore Tourist Board which paid the money for a Listen Live charity concert in aid of disadvantaged children, and which failed to take place.

Hollingsworth still hopes to stage his event in some other part of the world before the end of 2009 but another Listen Live due to take place in June last year in Los Angeles also failed to take place due to “the US sponsorship market turning very weak”.


Lifeboats were called out more times in 2008, and more people rescued from the water than in any of the 185 other years since the voluntary service started in 1824.

According to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) a total of 6,509 adults and 1,024 children were rescued, (average 21 per day) and lifeboats were launched 8,182 times from 235 stations.

Biggest increases were from the Tower crew on the Thames with a 52 per cent increase in call-outs over 2007 and at Poole in Dorset with a 38 per cent increase.


The work of the art charity, the Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF) is to go online, allowing everyone with access to the internet to enjoy all the oil paintings owned by the British taxpayer, most hardly ever seen.

The PCF is working with the BBC, which will host the massive online archive, to feature all the paintings on view in galleries but especially all those in storage or in buildings such as offices, hospitals, schools, embassies and municipal buildings.  This “hidden art” almost never seen by the taxpayer is thought to be up to 80% of the total of 200,000 works. Continue reading


A recent piece in the Sunday Telegraph featured people who had totally changed their lives and included a top charity executive who is now a shepherdess.

Beate Kubitz was a £25,000 a year high-flier with Mental Health Media in London, a job she was apparently very good at.  However she found this was not the same as having a real passion for something.  Kubitz, a philosophy graduate, also found that city life delivered a range of “life destroying emotions such as anxiety about social hierarchy, envy and pride” as well as “using my car too much and buying too much packaged food to save time”. Continue reading


Happiness is contagious, according to social network researchers, and spreads through social groups like an emotional virus.  (The Psychologist).

Using 12,000 interconnected people it was found that a person’s happiness level is influenced not only by that of immediate friends and relations but friends of friends, and their friends too, although closer proximity of happy people produced the strongest influence. Continue reading


A “stag” fundraising luncheon promoted as such by The Lords’ Taverners disappointed some diners who noted the presence of women at the men-only events having told their own partners and girl friends they would be unable to take them.

According to Lords’ Taverners chief executive Matthew Pattern the women present at the event included the female head of fundraising and communications who had invited a number of important donors, as well as other female staff who would always be in attendance at men-only functions.