Little at Large: Facebook reveals Wanless will always love Dolly

Some startling revelations about Peter Wanless, the new chief executive of the Big Lottery Fund, emerged at the conference of local umbrella body Navca last week.

It turns out he's a massive Dolly Parton fan and met the country singer at a Department for Children, Schools and Families event (as you do). Kevin Curley, chief executive of Navca, revealed that a picture of the two together adorns Wanless's Facebook page (which is not publicly accessible, sadly). Charities will no doubt be hoping that Wanless adapts one of Dolly's most famous refrains at the BLF: "I will always fund you."

- With banks imploding, recession looming and the TUC warning that the number of long-term unemployed will double by the end of 2009, you'd think charities would be concerned about impending Armageddon. So what happened when investment management firm CCLA organised what it hoped would be a topical seminar - Cash Management: responding to a crisis - at the Charity Accountants' Conference in Nottingham last week? Out of 150 people at the conference, a room-bulging 11 showed up. "Perhaps the others were responding with a trip to the bank," muses Heather Lamont, part of the investment team at CCLA.

- One of the least surreal events to happen in the City of London last week came when 15 sheep were herded across London Bridge seven times to raise money for charity. The shepherds were 500 Freemen of the City, exercising their mediaeval right to drive sheep across the bridge. It's actually an urban myth that any such right exists, but it seems the charity responsible for maintaining London's bridges, whose grant-making arm is the City Bridge Trust, is happy to collude in a little benign historical revisionism.

 - Mathew Little is a freelance writer mathew.little@haymarket.com

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