Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation meet with the Bank of England
Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) hosted a visit by Andy Haldane, Chief Economist of the Bank of England on 24th September 2018 at The Winchester Hotel. The visit was part of the Bank’s Outreach Programme, to meet and listen to a wide variety of people from different communities and backgrounds across the UK.
Earlier this week Andy met with 20 HIWCF partner representatives from voluntary organisations and community groups across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, to debate some of the challenges facing the voluntary sector, to help the Bank better understand and consider the impact of their policy decisions on local communities.
Representation came from organisations including HIWCF, Andover Foodbank, Basingstoke Neighbourcare, Citizens Advice Hampshire, Action Hampshire, Home-Start Hampshire, Disability Voices Hampshire, Winchester Nightshelter, Off The Record and Community First.
A wide range of issues which are impacting communities within Hampshire and the Isle of Wight were discussed including the impact of recent changes in the welfare system, the lack of availability in social housing, concerns over educational standards and business readiness of younger people in being able to lift themselves out of poverty, concerns over smaller charities’ abilities to invest in long-term training for staff and volunteers, poverty and isolation in an ageing population, the effect of pay day loans on vulnerable people, issues for charities in opening a new bank account, the time constraints for charities in tendering for new funds, and the loss of EU funding for projects run by smaller charities.
Andy Haldane, Chief Economist of the Bank of England commented “The policies of the Bank impact on everyone’s daily lives including the cost of mortgages and food, the value of houses and the availability of jobs. Over the last few years we have been shifting our focus on to the community, charities and citizens to look into how well the financial sector is serving this section of society. The meeting gave us an insight into some of the difficulties facing smaller local charitable and voluntary organisations, which represent a crucial part of the economy, and the conversation and debate from the meeting will feed into the discussions of the Banks policymakers.”
Grant Cornwell MBE, HIWCF Chief Executive said “We are delighted to partner the Bank of England in engaging with smaller grassroots charities and voluntary organisations across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, to ultimately affect policy making to help create a brighter economic and financial situation and bring better opportunities for disadvantaged people in our local communities. It is clear from our meeting that the voluntary sector makes up a key part of the economy as a whole, yet it often gets overlooked in the shadow of the private and public sector. A consistent charity policy with clear policies and communications at all government levels is key if the voluntary sector is to continue to play a successful central role in delivering local projects and services.”