Turning the Corner from ice buckets and selfies

Published: 5 September 2014 at 14:40

Anglia Ruskin conference will focus on the challenges facing the charity sector

From being told to ‘stick to their knitting’ by the new charities minister to controversies surrounding the current ice bucket craze, it’s been an eventful summer for charities and social enterprises. But away from the headlines, third sector managers are being forced to confront a number of serious challenges.

Should they merge with other local charities? Can they reach more people by collaborating with others?  What does the ageing population mean for their future?  What are the main parties promising for charities and social enterprises in next year’s election and is ‘Big Society’ still on the agenda?

Anglia Ruskin University’s team of charity experts are holding a conference to discuss these issues on the Cambridge campus on Friday, 12 September. Turning the Corner will feature guest speakers including John Bird, the founder of The Big Issue, and Lynne Berry OBE, chair of the Commission on Voluntary Sector and Ageing.

Andy Brady, who runs Anglia Ruskin’s Certificate of Higher Education in Charity and Social Enterprise Management course, said:

“There are 160,000 charities in the UK, many with similar or complementary objectives, and many working with the same or similar target groups of beneficiaries. 
“If private companies can merge in pursuit of more profit, it seems plausible that charities should merge in pursuit of greater efficiency, and making donors’ money work more effectively. However, the merger process requires bold leadership and a willingness from both parties to work together.
“Charities and social enterprises, sometimes called the social economy, offer solutions to many of the problems faced in the UK today, from reducing unemployment to reforming the financial system,”

Brady added:

“With the election now less than nine months away, we’re delighted that Nick Temple from the Social Economy Alliance will join us to explain why they are lobbying all political parties to incorporate support for innovative and effective charities and social enterprises into their manifestos.”

Turning the Corner is presented by 3rd Sector Futures, which is part of Anglia Ruskin’s Lord Ashcroft International Business School, in partnership with Social Enterprise East of England. 

Around 150 delegates are expected at the event, which also offers workshops on topics such as fundraising, social media and leadership. Turning the Corner is sponsored by four social enterprises: Central England Co-operative, Charity Bank, Leading Lives, and Realise Futures.