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Charities Challenged By Ex-Climate Minister To Combat Green Issues



This Way to Climate Change Exhibit by America's Power via flickr

Sir Ed Davey, Former Energy and Climate Change Secretary, will focus his first speech as chairman of the Fit for the Future Network to confront the charity sector on their environmental performance.

He commented that the charity sector needs to take green issues more seriously if they want to reap the financial benefit for their core charitable work.

At the inaugural annual members event for the Network, which helps charities improve their environmental performance, Sir Ed will say that green issues have slipped down the agenda of many not for profit organisations, despite the opportunity this agenda offers to improve the sector’s financial sustainability.

Several years ago charities, with government and charity commission support, made commitments to reduce their environmental impact with initiatives such as the third sector declaration on climate change and the ‘Shaping Our Future’ task force.

Sir Ed said: “I’m thrilled to be chairing this amazing network of charities strongly committed to playing their part to green our society. My job is to convince more in the charity and not-for-profit sector to see the opportunities a green agenda offers – and that’s my challenge to every charity and not-for-profit organisation across the United Kingdom.

For too many third sector organisations, the environment has slipped off their radar. It’s time to wake up and realise that tackling sustainability challenges almost always makes good business sense.

“Fit for the Future is an action-based network – offering practical advice and training to the third sector, from the third sector. So our Network is the cheapest way for charities to go green and make savings on things like energy bills, and avoid paying for expensive external advisers.

“And by cutting waste, charities won’t just be going green, they will prove to the public that they can use donations more wisely.”

The Network Harvest event aims to inspire knowledge sharing amongst the sector and challenge organisations to take more action on sustainability and energy efficiency whilst showing how there is a strong business case attached to it. Contributors will include Guide Dogs for the Blind, RNLI and Oxfam.

Since it launched in 2013, collectively the Network has worked with over 1000 environmental practitioners on over 350 energy projects. The CO2 saved by members from generating energy using renewables is the same as 1766 trips around the world in a petrol car.

To find out more information or to join the Network please see or email:



New Director Strengthens Quilter Cheviot Charities Team



Quilter Cheviot, a leading investment management firm that forms part of Old Mutual Wealth, has appointed a new Charity Director, Charles Mesquita, as an addition to its charities team.

Charles will join the 10 strong team at the beginning of January, reporting to Head of Charities William Reid. 

Quilter Cheviot’s charities division has funds under management of over £1.5 billion of assets on behalf of 643 charities nationwide, making it a leading charity manager in the UK.

Charles has over 30 years’ investment experience and has worked for a number of leading financial institutions, including Newton Investment Management and Investec Wealth & Investment. Among other key roles at these firms, he was responsible for founding and launching the Charities Property Fund with Savills in 2000: the first Common Investment Fund investing in UK commercial property. Over 1,800 charities have invested in it to date with assets of over £1 billion.

In his new role at Quilter Cheviot, Charles will help develop the firm’s specialist charity capability. 

Charles commented: “It is an exciting time to be joining Quilter Cheviot. Not only do they have an envious track record of delivering robust performance, but also a strong reputation for helping charities with their investments. Quilter Cheviot retain the ethos that the people you meet are the people managing your portfolio. As a trustee, I am only too aware of the challenges facing charities and the value put on having a strong relationship with someone you can trust.”

William Reid head of charities commented “We are delighted to welcome Charles to Quilter Cheviot as he is well qualified to enhance our capabilities. In light of the significant advice gap in the charities sector, the key to help resolving this is to recruit high calibre individuals who not only understand investment but are in tune with the challenges that trustees face.”

Charles is a trustee of Bowel & Cancer Research, RL Glasspool, a grant giving charity which aims to help people step out of poverty, and PRISM, which helps to promote and to facilitate charitable giving in a flexible and efficient manner. Charles also sits on the board of the Charity Investors Group, a forum promoting a greater understanding of investment within the sector.

Investors should remember that the value of investments, and the income from them, can go down as well as up. Investors may not recover what they invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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£6,000 Raised For Charities Through Business Networking Events



Nominate your favourite charity by Howard Lake via flickr

Double Whammy Networking CIC (DW), a social enterprise that organises successful Southend and Castle Point business networking events.

The events focus on effective business networking, but the events are sponsored and at least 60% of the ticket price goes to a ‘charity pot’ to support local charities and good causes.

By the end of 2016, DW had raised a grand total of £6,000 to support 22 different charities and community groups.

Managing director Jill Poet stressed that ensuring quality business networking is always a priority and that, apart from an optional card draw, no fundraising takes place at the actual events. She explained: “I’m a veteran networker myself and I understand the importance of business people being able to attend an event without feeling pressurised to give, give, give.. We just don’t do that, although we often find that excellent long term relationships are established between the business and community sectors. Additionally, our events are ad hoc and there is no joining or membership fee, no commitment to attend regularly, and no requirement to give an elevator pitch. The events are relaxed and ideal for established businesses and start-ups: we make everyone welcome.”

The next event is a networking breakfast sponsored by and to be held at the Arlington Ballrooms in Leigh-on-Sea on 17th January. A basic ticket is just £7.50 including refreshments. £6 from each ticket sold will go towards supporting the SoS Domestic Abuse Project and SAFE (Supporting Asperger Families in Essex)

Booking is essential. Book via this link Or call Jill Poet on 01702 468387 for more information.

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