UK Legal Recruitment Consultants

2017 charity donations – our decisions

Charitable Donations 2017

Students at the St Johns Seminary
Yunice, Elizabeth, Elizabeth and Jonas – students directly sponsored by the Ten Percent Foundation at the St Johns Seminary in Tanzania from 2015-2017. We donated £2,200 in 2016 and 2017 to the Kilimatinde Trust, which is the UK charity handling donations on behalf of the school.

In 2017 we received donation requests and nominations by and for the following charities and organisations:

  • Bloodwise
  • Greenwich Housing Rights
  • Howard League
  • The Parent House
  • Daisy Garland Charity
  • PVNH Support
  • Helping Older People in the New Forest
  • Criminon UK
  • Concern Worldwide
  • The Cure Parkinsons Trust
  • Wildwolf Explorer Scout Unit
  • Village Water
  • Flying High Trampolining
  • Liverpool Diocese
  • Concern

We have a commitment to funding certain charities in the longer term:

  • Ace of Clubs
  • LawCare
  • Unlock
  • Reprieve
  • British Stammering Association
  • Kilimatinde Trust
  • Centre 63
  • The First Step

The charities in red are those we have donated to in 2017.

Our criteria and policies for donating to charities can be found here – https://www.ten-percent.co.uk/charitable-trust/

This year we have written a piece about each charity we have considered and explained why and what we are funding. We have also included any information the charity have sent us including updates from last year on our ongoing donations.

Making a decision on how to donate some (or all) of the money we hold in the Ten Percent Foundation bank accounts usually involves the trustees going for out for a training run in the Cheshire hills, a meeting with discussions over lunch and then lots of cheque writing. I should add that unlike some of the larger charities where trustees seem to rack up quite considerable costs, none of the Ten Percent Foundation trustees have ever been paid expenses and in fact the Ten Percent Foundation has never incurred any administrative costs since its inception in 2003. Any costs are met by Ten-Percent.co.uk Limited. Our bank has other plans, and in 2016 the CAF (Charities Aid Foundation) Bank has decided to start charging charities £5 per month to bank with them. If anyone knows of other charity accounts not incurring costs please let us know as we will change as soon as possible!

Before the trustees meet to determine our donations we conduct research into the nominated charities and look closely at their accounts for the previous years. This can be difficult – for example in February 2017, which is when we met to determine donations, very few of the charities below had submitted their accounts to the Charity Commission since 2015, which means that we have limited information about their work in 2016. You may note from our web pages that at least one of our trustees has a bit of an issue about charities paying any staff more than £60,000. This remains a key limitation on donating to charities as a lot of the better known charities pay significantly more than this and hence are excluded from our donations.

Kilimatinde Trust – £2,200

Report from St Johns seminary on sponsorship of students
Report on Sponsorship of students for 2016

This charity was a bit of a shot in the dark for us to start with. One of our trustees, Jeremy Fagan, knows one of the teachers at the school we support and hence we have been giving money to the UK charity that handles donations on behalf of the school, St John’s Seminary in Tanzania.

The school is based in the Singida region of Tanzania, which is located in a semi-arid zone in central Tanzania with an altitude ranging from 900m-1,500m above sea level. The whole region has 346 villages, an area of 49,341 square km and a population of around 955,000 (1996 estimate). The majority of people in the area work in agriculture and livestock rearing as their main economic activity and means of livelihood. Bullrush Millet and sorghum are the main staple crops, though maize is grown in many areas despite low yields, due to taste preference. There is very low agricultural production in the region, mainly due to low and erratic rainfall, which ranges between 500 and 800mm per annum (Snowdonia in North Wales gets 3000mm annually by way of comparison!). There are two seasons – the dry season from April to November and the rainy season from December to April. The region experiences recurrent famine due to low yields when there is a severe lack of rainfall and drought conditions. Some cash crops are grown in the region; mainly sunflower and sesame for oil. Some tobacco and cotton are also grown. St John’s Seminary is a school linked to the church in the area and is within the top 300 schools in Tanzania for results (by 2013 levels). The the school has 250 students, 30 teachers and other members of staff. The education offering includes the full spectrum of academic subjects. The school also teaches additional courses in Tailoring and Mechanics. The students also get training in Leadership, husbandry, management, store keeping and book keeping.

St Johns primary school block
The new primary school block at St Johns seminary in Tanzania

The school has a range of issues which include too few dormitories and many in need of repair, too few classrooms, no library (although this is being translated across the UK in 2017 as I type this!), paying for the cost of electricity and water. They are looking to be self sufficient, including rearing pigs, cows and goats and a school garden.

We donate money to sponsor 4 children at the school each year. The 2016 sponsorship report shows the amounts we have paid. You can see that this is a very small charity but our money has gone quite a long way.

In 2016 we sponsored 4 children, Yunice Charles, Jonas Yasisni, Elizabeth Earnest and Elizabeth Keneth. They have written to us as follows:

  • “Thank you for helping us in paying our school fees..you are helping us get an education.” Yunice Charles, Form 4.
  • “I want to give thanks for those who have given their money to pay our school fees. I wish to give them good health because they have good hearts, others don’t give like this”. Elizabeth Keneth, Form 2.
  • “Thank you to those who are helping us with our school fees, may they continue with their good hearts”. Elizabeth Earnest, Form 2.
  • “Thank you for your help. Without your help I wouldn’t have this chance to go to school.” Jonas Yasisni, Form 2.

The charity information can be found here – http://www.kilimatindetrust.org.uk/st-johns/

Festa and Grace keep a blog here – https://festoandgrace.wordpress.com/. There are quite a few references to religion on the site and the blog because the school is part of the Diocese of the Rift Valley, but we are keen to focus our donation on the educational aspect of the work of the school rather than the religious element.

The Cure Parkinsons Trust – £1,000

We discovered the existence of The Cure Parkinson’s Trust whilst researching alternatives to Parkinsons UK. In 2016 we wrote an article about high salary paying charities and were very surprised to discover that Parkinsons UK were on our list – you can read the two articles which include references to Parkinsons UK on the 10 Percent Campaign page here and our 2016 decision article here.

The Cure Parkinson’s Trust aims to find ways to cure Parkinson’s. They had the following accounts for 2015:

  1. They received £2.02 million in donations and legacies.
  2. The charity spent £1.16 million on research funding and education.
  3. Grants to research institutes were £672k.
  4. Salaries at the charity were £425k.
  5. No members of staff earned more than £60k.

The charity’s website is https://www.cureparkinsons.org.uk/

The charity sent us a proposal for funding and suggested we consider £12,500 of funding over 5 years – their proposal can be viewed here. They also sent the following information:

“One of our upcoming trials which we urgently need to secure funding for is a trial using a diabetes drug called Lixisenatide. This is part of our Linked Clinical Trials programme, which takes drugs used in other diseases and tests them as treatments for Parkinson’s – because they show strong biochemical potential to slow, stop or reverse the disease. This is ground-breaking work and we believe it will have an impact in the clinic within five years. The Lixisenatide trial follows on from previous research we have supported testing diabetes drugs in Parkinson’s with encouraging results, and will help us to understand how diabetes drugs can slow or stop the progression of Parkinson’s. I have attached a brief proposal with further details about the trial and our work and we would be delighted if your Foundation were able to consider supporting the project.”

We made the decision to donate £1,000, with a view to donating again in future years. We have also highlighted The Cure Parkinson’s Trust on our website and mentioned them to other donors.

Letter of thanks for 2017 can be found here – Cure Parkinsons Trust.

Flying High Trampolining Club – £1,000

Flying High Trampolining Club Letter of Thanks

Flying High, DenbighThe Flying High Trampolining Club was proposed by Peter Gresty, one of our colleagues. Pete’s son regularly attends the group and their funding has been withdrawn. The club is entirely staffed by volunteers and is a trampolining club for anyone suffering from a disability. Ages range from 4 to 64 and disabilities include Cerebral Palsy, Stroke, Brain Injury, Dyspraxia, amputations and Downs Syndrome. The club wrote to us in October 2016 to ask for help towards purchasing an additional trampoline. The local council have offered to store it and have given an undertaken that it is only to be used by Flying High. Trampolines for the disabled are not cheap – options range from about £6,000 up to c£8,500.

We decided to donate £1,000 towards the purchase of a trampoline as a one-off donation.

LawCare – £500

LawCare letter of thanks

LawCare is a charity supporting and promoting good mental health and wellbeing in the legal community. I am sure that there is a fair chunk of the population who will wonder why a charity needs to be established to support solicitors and barristers who, afterall, are earning six figure salaries and living the life of Riley. Reality is a far away place and not to be found on the front of the tabloids unfortunately! The vast majority of solicitors and a good number of barristers do not earn particularly high salaries and have the same issues as the rest of the population. Working as a lawyer tends to involve high levels of stress – pressures from bosses desperate to make more money, pressures from clients desperate to achieve the required result, and pressures from third parties looking for swift resolution. It is a tough profession and there used to be a statistic bandied about that after pub landlords the legal profession has the highest levels of alcoholism and divorce in the UK. LawCare essentially runs a telephone helpline to assist lawyers with issues. It also has training courses on a range of subjects. We have been supporting their work for a good number of years now. For further information please visit www.lawcare.org.uk.

Our donation for 2017 is £500.

Ace of Clubs – £1,000

I have to check my notes every time I write the name of this charity down as I always want to call it the Ace of Spades! The Ace of Clubs is a homeless charity based in South West London. It was first suggested to us by Hanne & Co, one of our clients in the area, and we have been supporting it now for the third year in a row. We know it has links to a local church organisation and we are keen to remain away from any religious denomination when donating to charity. However we like the look of the work Ace of Clubs does in the area and so we give a restricted donation, specifying that the money is used to maintain their kitchens and laundry facilities. Full info at www.aceofclubs.org.uk.

Our donation for 2017 is £1,000.

Reprieve – £500

Clive Stafford-Smith
Clive Stafford-Smith – will he get a knighthood one day?

Reprieve thank you email 2017

Any charity linked to the work of Clive Stafford-Smith has to be worthwhile and this is a charity founded by him in 1999. I hope to goodness that Mr Stafford-Smith does not go the way of Phil Shiner as he always appears as a shining light into rather a lot of legal darkness around the world. Anyway the waffly bit is that Reprieve is “an organisation of courageous and committed human rights defenders providing free legal and investigative support to some of the world’s most vulnerable people: those facing execution, and those victimised by states’ abusive counter-terror policies – rendition, torture, extrajudicial imprisonment and extrajudicial killing.” Unlike other similar charities (eg Amnesty and the Howard League) Reprieve do not have high executive pay issues and as such we are able to support them. Difficult area to work in and deserving of lots of support. Full information at www.reprieve.org.uk.

2016 Reprieve highlights

Our donation to Reprieve for 2017 is £500.

Unlock – £500

Unlock is an ex-offender charity for people with convictions; assisting them to move on positively with their lives to overcome stigma of their previous convictions. and also to promote a fairer society by challenging discriminatory practices. As a recruiter I can safely say that it is nothing short of a minefield for someone with previous convictions. If you disclose them – no-one will employ you. If you withhold them – people look for gaps on the CV and question you closely. We support their helpline through a restricted donation. Full information at www.unlock.org.uk

Our donation to Unlock for 2017 is £500.

Unlock letter
2017 Unlock letter of thanks page 1
Unlock letter 2017
Unlock Letter of thanks page 2

British Stammering Association – £2,000

A charity we keenly support. We have had a letter this year detailing the work we supported and information on the work of their Education Officer. They get about 3,500 calls a year to their helpline. Last year we paid for the helpline to stay open for 2 months. They basically provide a service for parents of school-age children who stammer. There are lots of issues arising from education relating to children – do you get a child with a stammer to read aloud in class or do you skip past them? Should a child who stammers have to complete oral exams in English? Do you make them speak in front of a class? How do you deal with other children in the class asking about a stammer? The BSA is there partly because there is a huge gap in knowledge and advice for parents and teachers alike. Speech therapists tend to be far and few on the ground around the country and information is hard to get. The charity is very small and relies on donations to keep going. We hope to maintain a fairly long term commitment to support the BSA with their work, particularly with children. Further information on the charity at www.stammering.org

British Stammering Association 2017
Letter of thanks for 2017 from the BSA

Our donation to the British Stammering Association for 2017 is £2,000.

Centre 63 and The First Step – £2,500 each

We visited Centre 63 and The First Step in Kirkby in 2016 and Jonathan Fagan’s article on both can be found here – http://legalrecruitment.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/visiting-two-charities-on-merseyside.html.

Our support of these two charities continues and we donated £2,500 to both again this year. We are supporting Centre 63’s IT costs for 5 years (£2,500 per year) and this year The First Step have asked for support for target hardening – securing homes so that women affected by domestic violence are not required to leave.

The website for the 1st Step is here – http://www.thefirststep.org.uk/ and Centre 63 is here – http://www.centre63.org.uk/

Charities we have not donated to

We decided not to donate to the following charities in 2017: Bloodwise (5 executives earning between £60k and £130k), Greenwich Housing Rights, Howard League (3 executives earning between £60k and £110k), The Parent House, Daisy Garland Charity, PVNH Support, Helping Older People in the New Forest, Criminon UK (not clear what the charity actually does from their literature – something to do with remote access courses for prisoners), Concern Worldwide (2 executives earning between £60k and £80k), Wildwolf Explorer Scout Unit (not within our critieria) and Village Water (not within our criteria).