Reading Community Learning Centre (RCLC) and ABC to Read have become the first two charities in Reading to be named Safe and Sound.
The Safe and Sound award demonstrates the charities’ commitment to governance and follows consultations provided by Reading Voluntary Action (RVA), scrutinising their governance structures, policies and procedures. Additional support is provided to reach the standard. Both organisations have shown that they have the foundations in place to manage themselves effectively, giving them the confidence to focus on the delivery of their essential work.
The award was presented by Deborah Jenkins of the Earley Charity, the award’s funder, who have provided key funding to help improve the structural quality of the local voluntary sector. Presenting the certificates today at RCLC she said, “The voluntary sector should be robust, questioning and confident in its actions and Safe and Sound provides a framework to help achieve this”.
With its focus on charity governance, a key element of Safe and Sound is to give charities confidence in the way they are managed. Noreen Sumra, chair of ABC to Read, highlighted this by adding, “Safe and Sound was a very useful process, we knew we had a good set of policies already in place, but as a small charity, often working alone, it’s nice to know where we stand and have help to improve what’s already there”.
Safe and Sound is a completely free resource, made up of a downloadable self-assessment booklet, along with assistance to fill any gaps. For an organisation looking to achieve the full standard they can arrange a consultation focused around the assessment and the charity’s policy documentation.
Sarah del Tufo, chair of RCLC, highlighted the benefits of the award to the whole range of charity boards and noted a particular benefit where charities have new trustees “It’s a new world getting on a trustee board and the level of responsibility can be scary, it’s good for charities to know they are not on their own. I found it really useful and would recommend to anyone”.