It was good to see a news report from the British Heart Foundation which revealed that its charity shops division had its most successful year to date by making a profit of £31m in 2011-2012.
This is an increase of £5m on 2010-2011 and a 3.1 per cent increase in like for like sales.
Speaking to members in our recent silver jubilee meetings it has been clear that charity shops run by our members, whether the big nationals, or local charities and hospices, have been doing well. But it is clear this is a sign of a deep economic problem; rising unemployment and the recession.
And of course this means growing demand on the services our sector offers. Yet despite this we know that cuts in support from Government are hitting hard. We know that the next public spending round will hit harder. Interesting to see Guardian reports that IDS is warning the treasury about the danger of any further cuts in welfare support. Strength to his arm I say. We will need all the support we can get if we are to support the communities that rely on our sector the most.
Next week I am giving our SilverJubille Lecture. On May 10 at 6.15pm at Deloitte (Auditorium), 2 New Street Square, 1st Floor Client Suite, London, EC4A 3BZ. I am going to reflect on the challenge ahead for our sector and the challenges society is now facing.
Baroness Diane Hayter, one of ACEVO founders, and Sir Nick Young will be responding. Nick joined the sector from a promising legal career back in acevo's founding year and he is going to reflect on the changes he has seen since then.
It will be an interesting evening. If you would like to come along email George.firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to seeing you. It's free by the way. And a drinks reception to celebrate!