News in brief

Volunteering England will close its Birmingham office in March and move all its operations to a single site in London.

The umbrella body says the move will improve internal communications and save office costs and time. The seven employees affected will be given the option to relocate or take voluntary redundancy.

Several leading charities are throwing their weight behind a campaign by the Law Society against proposed changes to the legal aid system. Charities including Mind, the NSPCC, Shelter and the Refugee Council are concerned the proposals could mean many complicated cases involving their beneficiaries would not attract legal aid.

MusicSpace, a charity that uses music therapy to help children with learning disabilities, has been asked to find new premises after neighbouring organisations complained that it was too noisy. Managers of the Sycamore Business Centre in Nottingham said the drumming and music-making, used to develop non-verbal expression, was disturbing other tenants.

The Institute of Fundraising
has announced details of this year's bursary scheme for fundraisers to attend the organisation's national convention in London on 9-11 July. Forty one-day passes are on offer, as well as additional support for international fundraisers. For more information on the scheme and the event, visit

The Bridge House Trust, a grant-giver that maintains London, Millennium, Tower, Southwark and Blackfriars bridges, is to be renamed the City Bridge Trust to emphasise the role of London's financiers in the work of the charity. 

The Learning and Skills Council has launched a new advisory group to focus on its work with the voluntary sector. Ten sector experts have been invited to join the group for three years to advise the council on policy and help strengthen its links with voluntary groups.

The Leadership Trust has launched its Executive Leadership Programme for senior managers and directors who report to a board. The three-day programme is designed to explore beyond the fundamentals of leadership. It can be seen online at

West Cornwall Community Network
and Cornwall College have developed a new accreditation scheme designed to help organisations boost capacity and get recognition from funding bodies. It offers different strategies, depending on whether organisations are involved in service delivery, community engagement or partnership working.

The Marketing Society
has added a 'marketing a cause' category to its Awards for Excellence 2007. The award is designed to recognise exceptional creativity in marketing strategy. Charities can enter at before 26 January.

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