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

TO BE PUBLISHED October 2020

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

This conference will examine key issues, priorities and next steps for the UK charity sector.

Areas for discussion include:

  • the pandemic - the sector’s response to the impact of COVID-19 on those it serves, and priorities for its own recovery and sustainability
  • trust - and communicating the value of the sector following the Value of the Charity Sector report
  • the regulatory landscape - and navigating it post-GDPR

Key areas for discussion:

The impact of the pandemic

How the charity sector is responding and continuing to provide services - and to maintain the sector’s own sustainability - with discussion on:

  • the long term financial sustainability of the sector, and the impact and accessibility of funding packages announced by Government
  • the regulatory response during the pandemic, including the approach and guidance in supporting charities and maintaining standards, including the guidance from the Charity Commission
  • adapting to the pandemic:
    • innovative ways charities have developed to provide their support and services through the lockdown
    • meeting the possibly long-lasting challenges of changes in the environment, and ensuring that they can continue their work into the future
  • progress in encouraging volunteering through charities and maximising the role that it can play in communities, following the Government’s call for volunteers as part of its pandemic response

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 it has changed and adapted through the pandemic - looking at:

  • use of technology, data and social media platforms as shops have closed and fundraisers have been cancelled - in light of recent collaborations between 15 charitable organisations and the Centre for the Acceleration of Social Technology (CAST) to encourage and support charities to maximise the opportunities presented by data collection and use
  • responding to the social and economic ramifications of the COVID-19 outbreak, including preparing for possible further waves
  • the future of the Fundraising Regulator as it works on a strategic plan beyond 2021

The context for discussion:

Policy, regulation and guidance

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
  • Priorities for the Fundraising Regulator, responding to COVID-19 and plans going forward
  • Charity fundraising and the impact of COVID-19 - responding to the needs of charities across the third sector and those they serve, learning from innovation during the pandemic, and priorities for fundraising engagement into the future

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 specialist 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

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

Shortly after every Westminster Social Policy Forum seminar, a briefing document is produced. This is distributed to all delegates on the day as well as to our policymaker contacts in government, and to stakeholders more widely.

A seminar publication provides a timely record of proceedings, and acts as a guide to the latest thinking on current policy issues for those unable to be at the event.

This publication includes


Contributions from keynotes and panellists, including accompanying slides*
*Subject to approval

Delegate Pack

Information from the day, including delegate list, biographies and agenda


Transcript of questions and comments posed to speakers from attending delegates


Supplementary articles from speakers
and delegates