Acevo: Shawcross reappointment done 'on the quiet' | Charities begin A&E work trial | Big Lottery Fund programme doubles in value

Social investment will feature in Tory manifesto | Former Royal Horticultural Society staffer charged with £700k fraud plot | Campaign for pensioner who was mugged raises £290k in four days

William Shawcross
William Shawcross

The charity chief executives body Acevo has accused the Cabinet Office of reappointing William Shawcross as chair of the Charity Commission "on the quiet". Its chief executive, Sir Stephen Bubb, has sent a letter to Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet Secretary and head of the civil service, to "seek assurance that due process has been followed."

Three charities have begun a 12-week trial helping out in the country’s most overburdened accident and emergency departments. The Cabinet Office announced that paid staff and volunteers from the Royal Voluntary Service, the British Red Cross and Age UK would begin work in the departments this week, for which the charities will receive £500,000 each.

The Big Lottery Fund has doubled the size of its Big Potential programme to £20m to help more charities and social enterprises attract social investment. The programme, launched in March last year, previously offered grants of between £20,000 and £75,000 for organisations that want to raise up to £500,000 of repayable investment. However, the Big Lottery Fund says the extra £10m would fund the addition of a new "advanced route" to the programme that will support organisations wanting to raise larger investments.

Plans to encourage individuals to make social investments will feature in the Conservative Party manifesto, charities minister Rob Wilson has said. Wilson was speaking to Third Sector at the official announcement of a grant of a further £1.45m of Libor-rigging fines money for five uniformed youth groups.

The former head of operations at the Royal Horticultural Society will appear in court next week charged with being part of a fraud plot worth a reported £700,000. Stuart Medhurst, aged 54, has been charged with conspiracy to steal and fraud by abuse of position, alongside Shaheen Kadri and Elaine Summers.

An online fundraising campaign for a disabled pensioner who was mugged raised more than £290,000 in four days this week. Alan Barnes, who is visually impaired and 4ft 6in tall, has spoken of his amazement at the kindness of strangers, including Katie Cutler, who did not know Barnes but set up an online fundraising page after reading about him sustaining a broken collarbone in the attack last week.

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