Friday, 25 March 2011

Spring Progress

Hi everyone,

What great weather this week, and I am looking forward to my personal challenge of doing the YtoY  Marathon (26 mile) charity walk on Sunday, in aid of the disabled children with whom Redhill Y do great work.

If you’d like to sponsor me please submit any amount to:  All the money raised will go to the YMCA.

I ran a business planning session last (Wednesday) evening for a charity that does great work in running an Easter and Summer playscheme for children in a high need ward. They have over 1,000 children through the door, and charge just £7 a day , and therein lies the problem for when their Lottery funding ends. They also get “perfect scores” in their Oftsted inspection. Just another example of great voluntary sector work with a mix of paid and voluntary staff, and trustees.

I had a progress meeting today about the social finance projects we’re working on, and also to shape the session on the potential for social finance to support a project on reducing the risk of offending, and re-offending. Tomorrow, Friday, I am at a conference down in Sussex, my home patch,  for the students on the CWDC funded apprenticeships, foundation degree and MA when I am presenting on …Social enterprises and social finance! There is no escape from social finance at present!

Personal: We don’t talk about England rugby now…the focus is more on the availablity of Compeed for potentially blistered feet this weekend ..and then on Saturday 2 April we have the wonderful Celebration of Youth and Volunteering event to which all are welcome as an audience . The acts and market stalls are fully booked now – do come. Details on website ..but please tell Kate Peters if you’re coming to watch.

Enjoy a sunny weekend!

Friday, 18 March 2011


A very busy and interesting week.

Today I’m running a CPD session for the MA Youth and Community students funded by the CWDC. They are a great group to work with, and I hope to provide some “after care” as  this very valuable funding stream now comes to an end. I was on leave on Wednesday, catching up with my MA (Theology). So the week has sped by.

I want to concentrate on the workshop in London yesterday (Thurs) about Social Finance. This was one of three such workshops run by the national experts – Social Finance, and The Young Foundation. Each one was evidently attended by about 150 people, and were sold out immediately. It’s true they were free, but there is a massive interest in social impact bonds nationally. The London event was attended by funders - social entrepreneurs(Sir Ronald Cohen), bankers and equity fund managers, commissioners – from central, not local government interestingly, and the voluntary sector. So who doesn’t get it?

The Ministry of Justice and Social Finance gave detailed briefings on the Peterborough prison sib (3,000 prisoners, £5 mill of support to them, and an analysis over six years of the impact of the sustained pre and post release support to the prisoners with the aim of reducing re- offending rates (65% reoffend within one year currently).

There was much talk of scaling up pilot projects once it was known “what works”. There is Big Lottery and social investment fund interest in this. The significant change is to “payment by results”, in other words to outcome based commissioning and delivery that is shown to make a difference.

My abiding impression is that there is a potentially huge amount of capital out there to invest in social projects that will make a proven difference. It is easy to be cynical about corporate social responsibility, but I detect a sea change.

Personal disclosure: Did a 21 mile South Downs walk last Saturday in “benchmark time” of 7.5 hours in preparation for my Y to Y Charity Marathon (26 mile) Walk on Sunday 27 March. The finds raised will go to Redhill YMCA for their project of working with disabled young people. You can sponsor me on

Thank you!

Enjoy the week- end! Saturday 5.00pm. -The last match.

Friday, 11 March 2011


The week has been dominated by a final trip to the Brighton Consortium steering group that successfully bid for some £400,00 of CWDC funding  to enable youth workers to attend three programmes : an Apprenticeship, a Foundation degree and an MA course . Some 60 young people have been through the programmes and so we have felt pleased with our efforts, although our satisfaction this has been tainted by recent stories of young people in each category losing their jobs.

I also went to a RAISE (Regional Action and Involvement South East ) Board meeting and strategy day over two days where there was a shared experience amongst the voluntary sector representatives of setting deficit budgets, and yet seeking to re-frame new opportunities. The snag is that everyone is doing the same things.

For the rest of the week it has been “just ordinary”,  though I have received an invitation to a (Archbishop)Tutu Foundation event soon in London to be attended by the great man whose infectious laugh is unforgettable.

Personal disclosure: Saturday – 20 mile South Downs walk in preparation for 26 mile Y to Y Charity Marathon walk on 27 March -  see my Just Giving site at:  Please DONATE to good cause – Redhill YMCA ‘s work with disabled young people. And then Sunday: Twickenham – Scotland !!

Trivial Pursuits: Next week: run out of time!”


Friday, 4 March 2011

Social Accounting

Really interesting week in which the social finance work has progressed, with a lot of interest in a joint meeting between the Youth Justice Board and our member organizations aimed at reducing offending / re-offending. Timely, as Barnados have just released a report pointing to the cost to society of a young offender having to go into care (£115,000 over 3 years). Great phone call and meeting with Ruth from Jobmatch (matching offenders to jobs) – it’s not rocket science – folk need a job and housing on release, otherwise how long can you make the prison leaver’s £40 quid  last?

Really positive meeting last evening with some philanthropists advising on how we might access funding for a particular social impact bond project.

Attended a Social accounting/ Social Return on Investment course on Wednesday and was pleased to realise that we are in practice well advanced with social accounting, if not SRoI.

Last Friday evening I went to the Surrey Business Awards celebration dinner (think Oscars) and it was really instructive how many businesses are involved in their communities. So it is timely that we are soft launching our website this month, and I have given a copy of a job profile for a volunteer, Volunteer Broker to a visitor today from Proctor and Gamble, and also sent it to Business in the Community with whom  I made links some months back.

Personal disclosure: On Sunday 27 March I could be in my church, OR at an Elmbridge multi- faith event to which I have been invited , OR at a charity lunch at Magdalen, Tooley St. London (middle son’s restaurant) as he is fund raising a minimum of £2,500 for his London Marathon run in aid of The Railway Children (of India) BUT I am in fact doing a 26 mile charity walk for Redhill YMCA (Yto Y walk) . Be warned …I too am looking for sponsors!!

Trivial pursuit:
a)      Last week’s answer: There isn’t a marathon walk in the Olympics, but the closest is a 50 K road walk (31 miles) in…..3 hrs 34 mins. !! Ouch!
b)     This week’s question: As the Olympic cycle race is going through Surrey in 2012, what is the Olympic record?

Best wishes