Governance round-up: January 2022

It was a bumpy end to 2021 for the voluntary sector, with:

  • the resignation of the preferred candidate for the Charity Commission chair
  • the announcement of further covid-19 restrictions
  • the announcement of the closure of the Small Charities Coalition.

As we move into 2022, we’re looking forward to brighter things. We’re ringing in the new year with some positive highlights from across the sector.

New year honours 2022

The Cabinet Office published the annual new year honours list on new year’s eve. The honours recognise people who have had a positive impact in their community or been a leader in their field, and the 2022 list recognised 1,122 people.

An enormous 63% of the awards were for community work. The trustees receiving honours included:

  • Professor Shakeel Qureshi, who received a knighthood. Professor Qureshi is chair of 4 Peace of Mind and the medical charity Chain of Hope.
  • Janine Tregelles, chair of Access Charity, who received a CBE.
  • Andrew Lovett, chair of the Association of Independent Museums, who received an OBE.
  • Charan Singh Sekhon, chair of SEVA Trust UK in Bedford, who received an MBE.

Several charity staff were also recognised for their work over the last year.

Charity annual returns

It’s the time of year when many charities will be thinking about submitting annual returns and trustees’ reports. If your financial year-end is April, then your 2021 report will be due by 31 January. There can be penalties for late submissions.

Your trustees’ report is an excellent way to showcase the amazing work of your organisation, so take the opportunity to shout about what your charity has achieved.

You can find out more about how to complete and submit your annual return in this Charity Commission guidance.

BoardLead London: Connect with skilled candidates for trustee board service

Finding trustees can be a difficult task, yet we know a strong board amplifies our work. This is where BoardLead London can help – a no-cost programme supported by NCVO and Trustees Unlimited, which launches this spring.

The award-winning board placement, training, and support programme can support your charity with board development and good governance. It’s designed to connect charities to high-performing, skilled professionals, who are keen to support the causes they care about through serving on boards of trustees. BoardLead has successfully placed more than 1,500 candidates on over 850 boards across the United States and Greater London.

Join the BoardLead team for a live informational session on Thursday 10 February at 13.00 GMT to learn more about the programme. If you have any questions, please contact the BoardLead London Round manager, Ashley Bratrud, at

In the news

Charity Commission looks to the future

Charity Commission chief executive Helen Stephenson has shared her vision for 2022, looking at how the Charity Commission:

  • uses and manages data
  • supports public access
  • communicates with charities.

This will include a new online portal tailored to trustees.

Charities bill moves to the House of Commons

The charities bill, which was first proposed in the Queen’s Speech in May last year, has finished its review by the House of Lords and is now in the House of Commons. The bill is designed to reduce bureaucracy for charities. It will have a significant impact for charities that hold land, as well as for the Charity Commission and the way the regulator operates.

Training and events

Sally Stephens is an NCVO governance consultant. For more regular updates follow @Sally_Steph or @NCVO on Twitter.

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Sally works with charities to provide governance advice and board reviews, as well as delivering training on trusteeship and board effectiveness. She previously worked in an in-house governance support role, leading on board development and strategy.

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