Citizens Advice Reigate & Banstead is an independent community charity. We rely totally on local financial support and the generosity of our volunteers to continue giving free advice to anyone and everyone who asks.
We are proud to be a member of the national Citizens Advice network but receive no central government funding.
In common with all registered charities, whether small and local like ourselves or large and national/international, we are regulated by the Charity Commission. On behalf of our donors, volunteers and the local community we make sure to keep in touch with public debate about charity in the 21st Century.
Earlier this month the commission published a new Statement of Strategic Intent*. It describes its purpose as “to ensure charity can thrive and inspire trust so that people can improve lives and strengthen society”. It will do this by: holding charities to account; dealing with wrong-doing; informing public choice; giving charities the understanding and tools they need to succeed; and keeping charity relevant to the modern world.
We were represented in the audience when the Commission’s Chair introduced the Statement**. Baroness Stowell (pictured) spoke of loss of trust in society’s institutions including some charities. It was crucial for all to understand and practice the human charitable instinct that goes far beyond compliance.
We agree, and strongly support the Baroness’s inspirational summary of how communities benefit when charity reaches its potential:
“All charity is, at heart, about altruism and selflessness: about respect and care for people and causes other than ourselves. That is why we feel moved when we see or hear stories about people who genuinely put themselves out for the sake of others. Why seeing genuine acts of charity from others can motivate us to get involved too. And why, when charity reaches its full potential, its benefits stretch far beyond the immediate recipients or beneficiaries. It has wider consequences. It makes for better communities, a better society. A better world.”
** Charity Commission Statement of Strategic Intent, October 2018
** The Future of Charity, The Rt Hon Baroness Stowell of Beeston, 04/10/18