Vibeka is a senior reporter for Civil Society, specialising in finance and governance.
She has been a journalist since 2004, previously working on music, pension, investment and utility titles.
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It seems that every week I read about yet another celebrity charity art auction in the Metro on my journey into work. It usually involves a popular celeb scrawling on a postcard and signing it, or colouring in flip flops because it's summer.
Naomi House, a charity fighting to recoup losses following the Icelandic banking collapse, has put in a Freedom of Information request to know what conversations Downing Street had with the Christie, whose losses of £6.5m in Iceland were compensated by the NHS North West. Khalid Aziz, chairman of Naomi House, said the charity was keen to know what sort of mechanisms Downing Street had with the Christie.
The Church Commissioners for England has appointed Tom Joy as its first director of investment to manage all of the Church of England’s property and other assets worth a total of £4.4bn. Joy (pictured), who will report to the first church estates commissioner, Andreas Whittam Smith, and the secretary to the commissioners, Andrew Brown, has been hired to advise the assets committee on the strategic development of the Church’s multi-asset investment portfolio in light of the increasing complexity of the financial markets.
Far more charities will avoid investing in tobacco on ethical grounds than any other stock - even military involvement. According to new research from the Charity Finance Directors’ Group (CFDG) and EIRIS Foundation, over half of all large UK charities (those with more than £1m income) now have an ethical investment policy.
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, does it really matter whether it's labelled as a duck or re-branded as an aquatic avian? Last year The Ark generated £48,500 from trade and £47,500 from grants, so can we call ourselves a social enterprise? Social enterprise is an attitude, not a legal structure.
The government has allocated Â£7m to pilot community service for young people, in the first stage of Gordon Brownâ€™s pet policy to make sure all 14 to 19 year olds do 50 hours of community service. The Department for Children, Schools and Families will distribute the funds to five pilot community service projects which will run from January 2010 until March 2011.
Chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, Frances Crook, has offered support to NAVCA chief Kevin Curley’s campaign against the prospect of charities running prisons. It is the second crime prevention charity to back the campaign in a week. Richard Garside, director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, hasalso offered support to Curley, saying he was right to ask if there were limits to charitable provision.
Kevin Curley, chief executive of NAVCA, has vowed to fight the prospect of the charity sector running prisons after the Charity Commission refused to rule out the possibility that it could be a charitable purpose. Curley wrote to the Commission twice this year, asking for a review of whether charities could run prisons after the Ministry of Justice decided the third sector and private sector organisations could bid to run new prisons and existing failing prisons. Crime prevention charities Catch 22 and Turning Point were the first charities to win a prison bid this month.
A coalition of international development charities has urged the Church of England to pressure a mining company in which it invests, to rethink a project in India. ActionAid, Survival and War on Want are leading a campaign to stop Vedanta opening a bauxite mine in the Niyamgiri mountains (pictured) in eastern India, a spiritual homeland for India’s Kondh people. The 8,000-strong Kondh tribe is dependent on the mountain for crops and water.