‘Engagement with government was really poor last year,’ says CEO of British Asian Trust

19 Aug 2021 News

Richard Hawkes, chief executive of The British Asian Trust

Last year the charity sector “was making demands of government rather than offering to help the country”, the chief executive of the British Asian Trust has said.

Richard Hawkes has written a guest blog for NPC in which he discusses how the UK charity sector has performed during the Covid-19 pandemic and explained how charities should change how they work. 

“Our engagement with government was really poor. The sector was making demands of government rather than offering to help the country. Perhaps an approach more along the lines of ‘the sector fully supports the government in responding to the epidemic and wants to play the biggest possible role in responding to the crisis,’ might have led to more successful engagement and results,” he says.

Hawkes argues that there was too much focus on the survival of charities themselves, rather than on the people charities exist for. 

He adds that the pandemic has offered “the greatest opportunity we have ever had to radically change how we work”. This means “shifting power, merging, closing, starting up, doing everything in a fundamentally different way”.

Hawkes also writes that the work that many UK charities do “is absolutely amazing” but the sector could be much more impactful.

“Charities need to be bold, ambitious, agile, fast-moving, data-driven, outcomes-focussed, effective and efficient,” he concludes.

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