Third Sector at Large: Eeyore, Tigger and the long walk to reach Platform 51

The NCVO commission, the YWCA, Living Water Satisfies and Geraldine Peacock are on our minds this week

The members of the NCVO commission that produced the Funding the Future report this week may have been united in their recommendations, but they were divided about what the future holds for the sector under the big society and all that. Among the Eeyores was commission secretary and old charity hand Richard Gutch, who was called in to pummel the report into shape earlier this year, while chief of the Tiggers was the chair, Fiona Ellis, who's prepared - so far - to give the government the benefit of the doubt. But a bit of creative tension always helps, doesn't it?

- Lessons in the mysterious concept of the soft launch are provided by the rebranding of the YWCA as something called Platform 51. Blimey - Catch22 was bad enough. The website already has the new name and explains that it's nothing to do with trains but refers to another sort of platform for 51 per cent of the population - in other words, women. But the charity's PR company declines to tell us anything more about it. Not even the name of the new chief executive? Nope. So we Google it - as you do - and the answer is (drum roll): Penny Newman. The proper launch will be in the new year, apparently, and then we'll find out more. A bit more. Presumably.

- Talking of websites, a small domestic violence organisation called Living Water Satisfies kicks off its home page with the statement: "LWS is a registered UK charity." For a brief time last week the sentence was extended with the words "who neglect to pay their web editor for three months". And a semi-literate web editor, by the sound of it.

- Blunt but presumably well-informed advice comes to the Charity Commission from its former chair, Geraldine Peacock, about how it should save money. Cut down on those pricey in-house lawyers, she says - there were 67 of them when she was there - and buy in the expertise when you need it.

Mathew Little is away. Contact Third Sector at

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