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Stronger Charities Stronger Society!

Four words that represent so much in terms of what lies behind them.

As CEO of the Young Barnet Foundation I felt compelled to submit evidence to the Lords Select Committee on Charities. We cannot complain about what is going on all around us unless we stand up and take part in the dialogue – we need our voices heard.

The committee looked at the purpose of charities, pressures and opportunities, innovation, governance and leadership, accountability, resource management, social investment, the role of the government and lesson from other sectors. See full report

In Barnet, we have some great charities and community groups, so I am not going to preach to the converted, we all know the benefits of having a strong third sector within any community. Personally I see the commitment every day, as organisations strive to be the best they can be for our children and young people. Again, we all know how difficult the landscape has become over the last few years - dwindling local authority budgets, lack of grant opportunities, commissioning, local authorities looking to generate more income for themselves to deliver services, the concerns around Brexit (and the impact that may have) are just a few of the hurdles and all this against the backdrop of growing need.

It is hard to explain the challenges fully to those outside the sector. Ultimately getting people to understand that we are essentially ‘not for profit’ businesses working for community benefit, often born to address a local need and a passion to help and support others. We still have the same burdens as any other business, we need the same infrastructure, investment and training in order for us to be fit for purpose, survive and thrive. We don’t talk profit but we do need surpluses in the form of unrestricted income to support us to achieve our objectives, pay the bills and keep a roof over our heads.

The 42 recommendations can be found here I will leave it to you to have a read through. For me - the Lords listened to the evidence, and gave their recommendations, it will be interesting to see who reacts to the findings locally, regionally or even nationally. We, at the Young Barnet Foundation, truly believe that in order to provide the best support for our children and young people, their families and the wider community, we need a proactive approach to finding solutions to the current problems, a commitment to work together create WIN WINS so that we (and I mean ALL of us from every sector, every corner of Barnet) can help create a safer stronger community, with equal opportunities for all!

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