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From despair to optimism

Staying positive in dark times

Lucy Caldicott
Lucy Caldicott
3 min read
From despair to optimism

I've spent most of the week at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool. I always love going. It's an opportunity to catch up with friends I don't get to see very often, make new ones, and engage in the exchange of opinions. I always come back brimming with ideas.

The last few conferences have been depressing, though. We always say that we're optimists in the Labour Party but with the polls and election results so damningly against us, it's been hard to keep positive. What's the point of having the policies that will truly help people if you can't put them into practice?

There were two things that felt different in Liverpool this year. Firstly, the sense that maybe we actually can do it next time. The polls are consistently showing clear and growing distance between Labour and the Conservatives. Secondly, was a sense that the party is uniting again after such a difficult period.

I can't help thinking the two are interlinked. A divided party is a distracted party. With focus, we can win.

When I led charity fundraising teams, I often had to confront issues of ethics when it came to accepting donations. There can be a tension between the charity board's duty under UK charity law to advance the charity's aims which means raising as much money as possible to achieve those aims, and accepting money from questionable sources.

I've spent more time than I care to think about discussing these issues. What I recommend is that organisations take time to develop a decision making process and rationale for why they might reject a donation or a condition that accompanies a donation.

This blog from a Canadian fundraiser explores this and is worth a read.

Links of the week πŸ–‡οΈ

LGBTQ+ BPoC Health Equity and Advocacy Toolkit available here.

This is a very useful resource if you want to learn more about white supremacy culture.

Charities have the flexibility, empathy and speed of delivery that enables them to find and put in place the innovative solutions needed.

Article by Baroness Amos on the role of civil society

Learning points πŸŽ“

The people closest to the problems are most likely to have the solutions.

Day of the Week πŸ“†

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. When I was at CLIC Sargent, now Young Lives Versus Cancer, I led on developing this campaign, working with a range of other youth cancer charities and coordinating across a range of departments.

I'm always relieved to see projects I was once involved in is still going strong.

What am I reading? πŸ“š

In Liverpool, I chaired a panel discussing this Fabian Society report, Communities in Control. The report explores how giving power and funding to neighbourhoods can help solve some of our biggest challenges.

What am I watching? πŸ‘€

What am I listening to? πŸ‘‚

I really enjoyed listening to Jay Blades on Desert Island Discs

Joy-giving things 😍

Before I went to Liverpool, I marched in Birmingham Pride.

Rainbow flag waving in front of Birmingham Library - photo by me

Have a lovely weekend and here's to the optimists!


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