Comment by: Tiger de Sousa
Focus area: Volunteer events
Regulator concerned: My comments are general and do not relate to a particular regulator or regulatory function
Experience of Regulators and Regulatory Functions
As a nation-wide charity we are keen to ensure that we comply with current legal standards and accept that this protects our staff and our volunteers from harm and furthermore that failure to comply can be detrimental not only in terms of financial loss but also in damage to our reputation. We do have some issues which we would like to raise in terms of our experience of regulators and regulatory functions.
• Food: we are happy with the regulated activity standards and the availability of guidance for volunteers. We find our volunteers are keen to get guidance and comply with standards and we are aware of the free training videos available on the Food Standards Agency website. If CIEH training up to level 3 in food hygiene could be offered free or at a reduced cost for registered charity staff this would be really helpful.
• Second Hand Goods: we understand the need for the safety standards around selling goods but the guidance on this is quite detailed and a simpler version would be welcomed.
• It would be helpful not to have any VAT implications for charities on the sale of second hand goods.
• Raffles: We feel that small volunteer-led raffles (not incidental lotteries) should be exempt from licensing requirements. We recommend that this activity is linked up with the Lottery Liberalisation Campaign – review of charity lottery activity led by Institute of Fundraising http://www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk/library/lottery-regulation-liberalisation-consultation/?preview=true
• Events: we would be keen to remove the requirement for licenses for small scale volunteer-led event activity – namely music, event, public collection and alcohol licenses.
• Risk Assessments: We understand and support the need for risk assessments at fund raising events, the HSE has published the Charity Shop Risk assessment interactive tool, which is a useful time saving tool. It would be helpful to extend this to other charitable activities such as organising a sponsored run in aid of a charity, having a coffee morning, Fetes and fairs and so on.
Tiger de Sousa – Head of Volunteering for NSPCC