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Charities Or Businesses : Which Is Which ? Another Rizla Paper Test ? - Page 3 - Carers UK Forum

Charities Or Businesses : Which Is Which ? Another Rizla Paper Test ?

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
Another charity in the firing line :

How COULD a charity that campaigns for the elderly let its insurer rip off my 91 year old mum ?

Chris Walker discovered Age Co had hiked her mother's premium to £550.

" It feels like the elderly are being mugged in their own living rooms ", Ms Walker said.

The insurance branch of a charity that campaigns for the elderly has been accused of ripping of a loyal customer aged 91 after hiking her premium by 80 per cent in just two years.

Chris Walker, 69, of South West London, says she discovered Age Co – the trading arm of Age UK – had increased her mother Susan Self’s building insurance premium to £550 when she visited her at home nearby and spotted a letter spelling out the rise.

Chris says: ‘She is in her 90s and has limited income. She was a loyal customer of Age for many years, but it counts for nothing. It feels like the elderly are being mugged in their own living rooms.’

Research by The Mail on Sunday shows that premium costs can easily double for elderly customers in just a few years as part of a trick known as ‘price walking’ – where premiums for car and home insurance are increased year after year for loyal customers so that they reach a level far above the premiums charged to new customers.

Older customers are particularly susceptible because they are habitually among the most loyal.

Many are paying yearly price rises on insurance deals several times the average annual rate of inflation.

Regulators are investigating how best to crack down on the practice, but for some grown-up children the financial impact of the loyalty penalty won’t come to light until it is too late and loved ones have passed away.

In one case, an elderly pensioner relied on her bank for home insurance. Only after she died did her family discover that the policy’s annual premium had leapt by more than 300 per cent over 15 years to £915.

In the final year before the policy was cancelled, the price walk was more of a price ‘jump’ at 16 per cent. A different, yet suitable policy was available from the same bank for £105 a year.

Another elderly woman using her bank for home insurance saw annual premiums double over five years to more than £500 – despite other options being available at a fifth of the price.

Chris Walker only happened to see the letter spelling out the latest price increase for her mother because the postman was late when she visited. She says: ‘If he hadn’t been late, my mum would have put the letter away.’

Thanks to Chris’s help, Susan now pays £241 a year for a policy with a different insurer – and with home contents cover thrown in as well.

Chris says: ‘There are people out there with nobody to help them. These insurance renewal letters come through the letterbox and often remain unopened, so the contracts roll on and the prices roll up. I think a lot of older people are unaware this is going on.’

One of the trading principles that Age Co stands by is that prices it charges to customers are ‘fair and reasonable’. In a recent report, Age UK – which benefits from earnings made by Age Co – said it would put all its products through a ‘new assurance process’.

This, it argued, would enable it to be ‘confident that all Age Co products meet our trading principles all of the time’. On Friday, a spokesman for Age Co said: ‘We are sorry this customer is upset.

‘Our insurance partner recently reviewed properties in this area and its analysis unfortunately found that risk had increased significantly, hence the increase in premium.’

James Daley is co-founder of financial research and ratings group Fairer Finance. He believes time is nearly up for insurers using ‘dual pricing’ – where loyal customers subsidise lower prices paid by new ones.

He adds: ‘We are getting to the end of consumers’ tolerance for dual pricing. Most customers actually expect a reward for loyalty, but it’s the opposite. After several years of loyalty, customers are often paying three or four times the market rate.’

Intervention could come from City regulator the Financial Conduct Authority in the form of a price cap.

For example, this could work by banning insurers from charging existing customers premiums more than double those of a new customer.

Daley adds: ‘There is also demand for auto-switching tools, as exist in the energy market now.

'Such companies would do the hard work to find a new deal and even if a customer doesn’t get the very best price, they won’t get ripped off every year as many do.’
Mmmm ... seems like Joe & Josephine Public have finally cottoned on ?

Fewer Britons donate to charities after scandals erode trust.

Sector faces challenge as study shows proportion directly pledging cash falls to 57%.

Fewer people are giving to charity, in what researchers say is a worrying trend at a time when trust in charities appears to be falling.

The proportion of the UK public who gave money direct to charity in 2018 dropped to 57%, compared with 60% the previous year and 61% in 2016. Numbers giving money or sponsoring someone fell to 65%, compared with 67% in 2017 and 69% the year before.

The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), which produces the estimates based on online surveys, said there had been a clear downward trend over the three years, a period during which the charity sector was rocked by scandals.

Forty-eight per cent of people believe charities are trustworthy, according to CAF’s figures. The proportion explicitly disagreeing has risen to 21%, with the remainder neither agreeing or disagreeing. Among those aged 65 or over, traditionally the most regular supporters of charities, 46% agree and 23% disagree.

Susan Pinkney, CAF’s head of research, said: “If people lack trust, that means they worry that their hard-earned money is not being well spent when donated to charities. This is a challenge that the entire charity sector needs to tackle head-on and find ways to inspire people to give and demonstrate to them that their money is making a difference.”

The findings will be unwelcome for charity leaders, who have been seeking to move on from debate over trust and confidence sparked by the Kids Company affair, controversy over fundraising techniques, and last year’s revelations of sexual abuse and other safeguarding scandals at aid charities.

Last month, sector leaders were privately angered when the Charity Commission regulator concluded that the collapse of the garden bridge project across the Thames in London had been another “failure for charity”.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), the leading umbrella body for charities, believes the CAF figures say less about trust and more about deliberate changes in fundraising in 2018 in response to the earlier controversies and GDPR data protection rules that took effect last May.

Significantly, the CAF survey found fewer people had been approached to make a donation in the street or on the doorstep last year, or received direct mail requests. The overall amount raised from household donations remained steady, however, at £10.1bn.

Sir Stuart Etherington, the NCVO’s chief executive, said: “Fewer people giving larger sums reflects a year in which many charities were scaling back recruitment of new donors and focusing instead on cultivating their relationships with existing supporters. This is the result of a positive change in charities’ fundraising strategies away from some of the marketing approaches of the past.”

While acknowledging supporters did appear to be giving more, Pinkney said: “With three years’ worth of data, we can now see a clear trend in people’s charitable giving and it is headed in a worrying direction.”

The CAF survey, based on more than 13,000 interviews last year, also asked people if they had taken part in any “social action”, such as joining a rally or protest, buying an ethical product or signing a petition.

The proportion of people saying they had done so in the previous four weeks fell in 2018 for the second year running, to 64%, compared to a peak of 68% in 2016. But CAF said early results for 2019 showed an upturn, hitting 69% in March, probably reflecting the numbers who signed one of the mass petitions on Brexit.

The reported rate of volunteering for charities remained stable in 2018, with 16% saying they had done so in the previous 12 months, as did the rate of goods donated to charity shops, at 56%.

Let's all hope that Trussells and their allies do NOT see a downturn in donations ???

After all , donate a can of beans to many others and ... just how many beans would be left after " Expenses " ?
Age UK equity release deals under fire.

One of the country’s leading charities has come under the spotlight for making money by referring elderly people to a commercial partner that routinely recommends equity release deals from its own parent company.

Age UK sends users through its commercial arm to an equity release advice service provided by Hub Financial. Hub is owned by Just, one of the biggest providers of equity release mortgages.

Age UK pockets commission of up to 0.75pc of the loan value from this relationship each time someone releases cash from their property. The commission from each deal can earn it thousands of pounds.
Haven't read all of the posts but 2 thoughts.

1. Leonard Cheshire would be horrified if he saw what was happening in his name.

2. Eton College is a charity. Amnesty International is not. Only charities have a favourable tax status which saves the government etc money on commissioning services from them and donations, which I believe people are giving thinking they are providing something above and beyond what is legally required to be supplied, attract tax relief and people think charities are good things to give money to. Campaigning organisations are not allowed to be charities so get neither the tax relief nor attract donations. People are told to check organisations are genuine charities before giving to them but this just supports the charities who not only don't want to rock the boat but also aren't allowed to. Professional charity managers only make the situation worse as they are more interested in running a charity efficiently within the rules rather than caring about the underlying cause. A good example of this is the manager of Morley College who was previously in charge of Benslow Music Trust. Morley College had been known for a wide range of activities including renowned music activities. He came along and chasing the charity funding closed down everything apart from literacy and numeracy and 5 gcses in a year. Never did find out what happened to the virtually brand new, very expensive piano that had been bought from fund raising. Incidentally I have no particular interest in Amnesty International, nor Eton College. They are just the text book examples that are often cited.

Oh and another pet hate. Hospices that don't have anywhere near enough hospice places but spend all their money on increasingly tangential services. Again this seems to be driven by the rules for funding not the aims of the charity. Part of the problem seems to be a requirement to help as many people as possible, possibly with targets for different "Equalities" groups whereas the fundraising is always focussed on the core activity which people want to give to and which is expensive to provide per person.

If I give to a charity I want to help the people in most need, not the most people with marginal needs but I know that's not where my money will go in reality.

If you never hear from me again don't be surprised as I half expect to get barred for this post!
A leading light for charity donations ?


Donate a whole can of beans , recipient gets a whole can of beans.

None disappear for " Expenses. "

Marathon runners ... names of leading charities adorn many runners.

Just how many miles must they run before the first £ 1 reaches the front line ????

Many of the major charity hierarchies are on £ 50k+ per annum ... with the prospect of a complimentary mention in
dispatches to boot !

100,000+ of our collegues would be most grateful for the odd can of soup ... occasionally.
Strange bedfellows ?

Samaritans criticised over Paddy Power Betfair partnership.

The charity Samaritans has come in for criticism over its links with the betting company Paddy Power Betfair.

Staff at the group chose Samaritans as their Charity of the Year.

But critics - including relatives of people with gambling problems who took their own lives - say it is risking its reputation by working with the firm.

Both organisations say Samaritans' insight and expertise will help Paddy Power Betfair improve how it helps vulnerable customers.

The partnership involves activities such as fundraising, corporate donation and volunteering.

Samaritans says it will also help it continue its work "to try to reduce the number of deaths by suicide".

" Appalling "

But John Myers, who lost his son Ryan five years ago when he took his own life aged 27 after becoming addicted to gambling, said that was not a good enough reason.

"I'm extremely disappointed in the Samaritans.

"They're a charitable organisation so they need to get money from other people, wherever they can. But to throw yourself in with the devil I don't think is right.

"This industry has destroyed families and destroyed lives.

"To even think about lying in bed with these people is wrong and I think they should rethink it and stop taking their money."

Carolyn Harris, chairwoman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling Related Harm, told the BBC she had concerns about the tie-up.

"At best this is distasteful and at worst it's appalling," she said.

"When you see them [Samaritans] aligning themselves to an industry with a reputation for being responsible for suicides through addiction to gambling - it troubles me.

"For me it legitimises this business. I've met so many people who've lost loved ones, livelihoods and homes through addiction to gambling.

"Everything Samaritans does is to try to solve the problems that all gambling companies have a role to play in creating.

"[Samaritans] should get back to basics and keep doing what's it's been respected for doing for years - its fantastic work."

In statements both organisations said the partnership will not just help Samaritans' fundraising efforts, but its insight and expertise will also help Paddy Power Betfair look after vulnerable customers and develop and strengthen its policies in this area.

Paddy Power Betfair added it is "keen to learn from the fantastic work the Samaritans already do, in order to continually improve our responsible gambling tools and interactions".
I had to quit as a charity boss to protest against terrible government policies.

Charities should not be agents of the state – and this politically manic autumn is no time to be timid, whatever the cost.

Earlier this summer, I decided to stand down as chair of the National Association of Voluntary and Community Action (Navca). I felt I could no longer stay in a post where I could not speak openly about the hardship being inflicted across the country.

I was elected to the post last autumn by members of Navca, which supports thousands of local charities and communities and provides a vital voice for local groups, and had been visiting and talking to members since the start of 2019. I was consistently impressed by the commitment and impact of these organisations.

However, I also became more convinced than ever of the need for the sector to be more strident in promoting social justice and equality, and challenging barriers to equality, fairness and opportunity. The current state of our country, with the inequality, injustices and hardships created by government policy and structural problems, requires bold political interventions.

It was not an easy decision, but standing down means I can campaign and intervene on these issues in ways that would have been more difficult had I remained. I also wanted to avoid detracting from Navca’s core role of supporting and representing its members.

That said, I believe that charities have to be bold and ready to challenge, oppose and argue for changes in policy.

The UK faces several crises, including Brexit, the climate emergency, homelessness, severely underfunded public services, increasing in-work poverty, universal credit and other so-called “welfare reforms”, and rising inequality. There is growing reliance on charity provision such as food banks. Philip Alston’s UN report found that despite the UK being the world’s fifth-largest economy, one-fifth of its population – 14 million people – live in poverty. We are also seeing a rise in xenophobia and growing mistrust in our political system, with a concurrent rise in populism and false political pledges.

For some time, I have felt that too many charities, though not all, have been too timid about challenging the government and addressing the underlying causes of social injustice. Too few have challenged the folly of Brexit, especially a no-deal Brexit. If the leaked Yellowhammer report was not enough to trigger a response from the voluntary sector, what will be?

Some trustees and charity staff have been intimidated by the government’s 2014 Lobbying Act, which imposed restrictions on non-government bodies, and by gagging clauses in funding agreements and contracts. It was recently revealed that Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland signed gagging clauses to prevent them bringing the Department for Work and Pensions “unfairly into disrepute” when they agreed to £51m contracts to provide advice to universal credit claimants.

Some charities have tried to act inside the system and play along with the government. Some have been too worried about upsetting stakeholders. Some simply do not see it as their role, let alone their duty, to speak out. And some, frankly, appear to have sought an easier life. Others have focused on internal or organisational issues, rather than the wider public policy agenda.

Given the seriousness of the situation, I believe it is time for charities, voluntary bodies and wider civil organisations, including national bodies, to move their campaigning up several gears. This is not the moment to be timid.

Much social change, such as ending slavery and child labour, has come about because of social action and strong charity campaigning. There are many smaller, local examples too. Charities have created many services that later became core public services, such as children’s centres that became Sure Start centres.

Charities have previously been able to provide services to vulnerable people while also campaigning for policy changes. It should be the same today, but it’s something too many trustees and executives appear to have forgotten or chosen to ignore.

There is no merit in being myopic, hesitant or stubborn. Charities and voluntary bodies cannot stay silent. To be silent is to be complicit. Charities are being devalued by this government. Their role as advocates is being pushed aside or seriously constrained. This is wrong. Charities should push back, not allow themselves to become controlled agents of the state.

They must be ready to confront the underlying structural causes of social injustice, inequality, and the climate emergency. This includes challenging politicians, but without being partisan. It requires promoting alternative policies and making the case for progressive taxation and the redistribution of wealth, income and power. And it should be about avoiding special-interest pleading at the expense of others.

In this politically manic autumn, I am certainly going to be active. I will not be silent and neither should the charity sector. National organisations like NCVO and Navca should not keep their heads down. They should be ready to step up and offer hope, answers, and real leadership.
Scottish court asked to jail Greenpeace chiefs over North Sea protest.

US oil firm Transocean takes environmental group to court after activists occupied rig.

Any connection between Greenpeace and Carers UK ?

Yes ... both are registered charities.
Why ARE so many veterans gunning for the British Legion ?

It's one of Britain's best loved charities, but despite £70m cash reserves, it is closing down hotels for ex-servicemen and is accused of letting bureaucracy stifle cries for help.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... egion.html

A snippet :

‘They said there had been research showing that the hotels . . . are not cost-effective.’ Mr Rubery explains. ‘Yet the hotels help veterans who are lonely, have combat stress, are in hard times financially, even terminally ill . . . the list goes on.’ This rebellion by veterans is fuelled by one question: why must their precious hotels, which cost £6.5 million a year to run, be shut down when the poppy charity and others like it sit on vast sums of unspent money?

In 2018, the Legion recorded an income of £163.2 million and had reserves of £70 million, according to its last annual report.

Each year, its nationwide poppy appeal reaps some £50 million. Recent anniversaries of both world wars brought an upsurge in donations as the commemorations pricked the national conscience and the public dug deep.

The RBL is the wealthiest of Britain’s ten biggest military charities. Between them, these ten have combined assets of £1.4 billion, plus reserves of £277 million, prompting increasingly angry accusations of ‘cash hoarding’.

In all, the 1,500 armed forces charities have a total worth of £3.1 billion — £1 billion more than the annual cost to the Military of Defence of running the Trident nuclear submarine programme.

Yet despite these vast sums, 6,000 military veterans remain homeless, 10,000 have had serious brushes with the law or are in prison, and as many as 50,000 suffer mental health problems caused by experiences of conflict or their struggles to cope with ‘civvy street’ when their military careers finish.