Westminster Social Policy Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.
For delegates already booked on, we will send you the online joining instructions (including links, event numbers and passwords) five working days before your conference. If you cannot find these in your inbox please email delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk

Priorities for the UK charity sector - the response to COVID-19, and key issues for standards, data protection, fundraising, regulation and building trust

Morning, Wednesday, 14th October 2020

Online Conference

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will discuss the priorities for the UK charity sector looking at:

  • the response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and work to recover from its impact
  • continuing to build up trust and communicate the value of the sector following the Value of the Charity Sector report
  • navigating the regulatory landscape post-GDPR

Key areas for discussion:

  • The impact of the pandemic - how the charity sector is responding, as the Charity Commission publishes guidance with a focus on:
    • the impact and accessibility of funding packages announced by Government, and long term financial sustainability of the sector
    • the approach and guidance from regulators during the pandemic for supporting charities and maintaining standards
    • innovative ways charities have adapted to provide their support and services through the lockdown and how they need to adapt to changes in the environment that may be long-lasting, ensuring that they can continue their work into the future
    • what more can be done to encourage volunteering and the important role that volunteering through charities can play in communities through the pandemic, following the Government’s call for volunteers as part of the response earlier this year
  • The Civil Society Strategy - three years into its ten year vision, what the impact has been and how effective it has been in bringing together charities, social enterprises, social investors, community groups and businesses;
  • Data protection - key issues and the experience of the charity sector since the implementation of EU GDPR and the Data Protection Act, including the emerging landscape with the post-Brexit transition period due to end later this year
  • How fundraising has changed and adapted through the pandemic - looking at:
    • the use of technology, data and social media platforms as shops have closed and fundraisers have been cancelled
    • responding to the social and economic ramifications of the COVID-19 outbreak, including preparing for possible further waves

Why this is relevant: the context:

The discussion takes against the backdrop of significant developments affecting the third sector, those who work in it and those it serves, including the COVID-19 pandemic:

Policy, regulation and guidance

  • The Value of the Charity Sector report - which focuses on:
    • the steps required to measure the value of the sector
    • the role that an improved understanding of the charity sector can play in the solution to economic and social divisions
  • Findings from the Fundraising Regulator that only 40% of charities were fully complying with the Charities Protection and Social Investment Act 2016, and new guidance on:
    • what fundraising statements should consist of
    • expectations from the Charity Commission
    • what to expect from auditors and independent examiners
  • The updated Code of Fundraising Practice coming into effect
  • The Fundraising Regulator’s business plan for 2019/20, with discussion expected on at the future of the Fundraising Regulator as it works on a strategic plan beyond 2021

Support and the response to COVID-19

The agenda:

  • The role of charities within the Civil Society Strategy and approaches to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Funding for charities during COVID-19, supporting smaller charities, innovative ways of adapting and meeting demand, and looking ahead to the environment for charities post-COVID-19
  • Building trust in the charity sector and measuring and communicating the value the sector provides to society
  • Priorities for encouraging volunteering - and the role of volunteers in the charity response to COVID-19;
  • Navigating the regulatory landscape post-GDPR
  • Improving safeguarding standards, reporting procedures, and the protection of vulnerable groups
  • Charity fundraising and the impact of COVID-19 - meeting the needs of charities across the third sector and those they serve, learning from innovation, and fundraising engagement into the future
  • Priorities for the Fundraising Regulator, responding to COVID-19 and plans going forward.

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy, as well as from representatives of charities, technology providers and fundraising consultants, marketing organisations, broadcast and social media companies, regulatory bodies, citizen groups, local authorities, campaigning organisations, legal experts and practitioners, businesses and their advisors and social and academic commentators, together with reporters from the national and trade media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speakers

Catherine Edginton

Senior Safeguarding Lead, Charity Commission for England and Wales

Claire Dove

Crown Representative for the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector

Matthew Bell

Director, Frontier Economics

Senior speaker confirmed from the Fundraising Regulator


Helena Wilkinson

Corporate Partner, Head of Charities and Not for Profit, Price Bailey

Rita Chadra

CEO, Small Charities Coalition

Hannah Kubie

Partner, Charity and Social Enterprise Team, Stone King

Louise Balaam

Director of Fundraising, Youth Adventure Trust