Head of Women's refuge gives back OBE because of budget cuts

(26 Posts)
AbsDuCroissant Wed 16-Feb-11 14:12:49

Very depressing article. I've read a lot about what the Poppy Project did in the past, and for such an amazing charity to lose funding is awful.

Chil1234 Wed 16-Feb-11 15:23:13

If her charity is as good as you say, they should really be a prime candidate for being able to attract private funding. I've been astonished in the last few weeks at just how reliant 'charities' are on tax money.... they seem to be more quango than charity.

Singinginmychains Wed 16-Feb-11 17:28:42

Whatever, Chil.

Thanks for posting this link, AbsDuCroissant. What a brave and selfless gesture from Denise Marshall.

This is exactly the sort of organisation I want the taxes I pay to go towards funding. In my view there are a lot of charities that should definitely get more help from the state rather than have to rely on donations. If we don't help the weaker members of society then we are not a society, imo.

As the government has cut funds for hospitals, education, charities and other services - libraries - I really don't know what I am paying my taxes for any more.

mustdash Wed 16-Feb-11 17:40:18

I've been stewing about this all day. I think it is desperately sad that they are in this situation, and suppose that at least by doing this she has brought some attention to it.

However, it was not this government who gave her the award, so giving it back is no skin off their nose. What is does mean though is that she no longer has the OBE to put after her name.

Like the honours system or not, it does get attention, and give her some gravitas. It is a pity she won't have that any more.

ImFab Wed 16-Feb-11 17:41:33

I saw her on the news. I missed the beginning but felt she came across very well.

earthworm Thu 17-Feb-11 09:27:56

There are other organisations that do a better job than the Poppy Project.

The writing was on the wall when they started making up stuff to inflate the amount of government money they could claim.

HecateQueenOfWitches Thu 17-Feb-11 09:29:53

They started making stuff up to inflate the amount of government money they could claim?

Do you have a link to that, would be interested to read it.

earthworm Thu 17-Feb-11 09:44:47

Link here

I seem to remember that the main concern was their definition of trafficking for prostitution, which didn't take coercion into account; they literally assumed that a prostitute had been traficked if she had a foreign accent, inflating figures before applying for funding. It was very heavily criticised by academics in the field.

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Thu 17-Feb-11 11:06:15

''There are other organisations that do a better job than the Poppy Project.''

These other organisations won't be affected by the budget cuts?

Chil1234 Thu 17-Feb-11 11:10:18

I heard Denise Marshall on Womans' Hour this morning and I thought she was guilty of cutting off her nose to spite her face, frankly. Because she can't provide the service she wants to provide she'd rather not enter the bidding process at all?.... Bizarre.

meditrina Thu 17-Feb-11 11:12:08

<sorry for hijack: but does anyone know why they chose the name Poppy Project, when in UK that's so associated with the Royal British Legion (Poppy Support, Poppy Breaks etc)?>

Handing back an award does show principles (it's a Royal award, but also inextricably linked to the recommendations of Her Majesty's Government), but I think realistically that, although it has attracted some publicity now, it won't really make a difference.

Mellowfruitfulness Thu 17-Feb-11 13:13:11

You can always undermine inconvenient truths about the size of a problem and the amount of resources need to deal with it by attacking the research the claims are based on. It's a classic ploy to reduce support and diffuse the protest.

Most research can be challenged in this way. 'Lies, damn lies and statistics!' (or something like that).

Sometimes you have to look at the principle, rather than the nitty gritty.

Saving said that, organisations can and should always tighten up their act. But quibbling about definitions as a way to avoid giving them the resources to work with is an underhand way of wriggling out of our responsibility to deal with the problem, imo.

earthworm Thu 17-Feb-11 14:56:57

Mellow, are you claiming that the 27 highly respected and independent UK academics, health practitioners and researchers who claimed that the Big Brothel report was flawed, anecdotal and unethical are adopting 'a classic ploy to reduce support and diffuse the protest'?

earthworm Thu 17-Feb-11 15:00:47

Incidentally, one of those organisations criticising the report was the English Collective of Prostitutes so it could just be that the criticism was justified, and that the Poppy Project were indeed more interested in funding than women's safety.

aliceliddell Thu 17-Feb-11 16:51:35

Ah, the English Collective of Prostitutes. Bless. Their commitment to male privilege women's liberation is second to none.

aliceliddell Thu 17-Feb-11 16:55:33

Actually I don't really care if it's exaggerated and anecdotal. How many trafficked women would it be OK to rape, then? Ten? Two? Three hundred?

earthworm Thu 17-Feb-11 17:01:10

None, obviously.

I am pointing out that this organisation has been heavily and widely criticised.

I suppose I am also suggesting that there are other organisations doing similar work, and that these might be more deserving of money from the diminishing pot.

That's all.

theoldbat Thu 17-Feb-11 18:14:07

Denise Marshall spoke of these women as being invisible. They have no voice. They live in fear. They cannot come forward and protest in their own right.
But Mumsnet does have a voice. We should speak out for these women and their children.
The people who run these charities do so on a shoe string. A member of my family works for such a charity. She works on high risk cases. She has to manage with a computer with a faulty keyboard - they cannot afford to replace it.
These charities have come to rely on local government funding because the local government saw it as a form of outsourcing in the past. Because many of these charities are small and are often overworked, but absolutely committed, they do not have the time or resources to turn their attention away from their clients to look for major sources of funding in the private sector. Perhaps we could, as mumsnet members, raise the profile of these charities in the media and encourage the larger corporations to become part of The Big Society and fund these women's (and children) aid on a regular basis. I know that if I were in a position that these vulnerable women are I would want to know that there was somewhere safe and anonymous to take my children. Somewhere, I could be given the tools to get back on my feet and start a new life, be a productive, giving member of society. So why not let's be their voice and raise the profile of all these vital women's aid charities.
So if you are Mrs Cameron reading this or are or know of a main board director of a corporation or bank please consider raising the plight of these underfunded charities. If you are a member of the media, write about it, ask questions. If we have to make this Big Society work, then let us make it work for everybody and not just those who shout the loudest. We all matter

Mellowfruitfulness Thu 17-Feb-11 19:44:22

Earthworm, I don't know. That's the point. All I do know is that holes can be picked in any research you want to mention. Also, results can be skewed - some figures mentioned, others omitted etc - when they are reported. I would agree that many researchers don't have an axe to grind but the organisations that report their findings (eg the Media) might well have their own agenda.

As far as this particular charity is concerned, if it's been criticised, maybe it can be improved - but not if its funds are cut. Also, why was Denise Marshall given an OBE if it's not being run properly?

What I think is that she has made a brave gesture and that funding should not be stopped for charities like these.

Agree with Alice and Oldbat.

'at just how reliant 'charities' are on tax money.... they seem to be more quango than charity.
'

it snot that really.

So I used to be a manager at homestart. We used to have a mix of sate and otehr funding.

The state funding was what secured our frnachise; the evidnece we needed to get in the other support systems (lottery etc)- te core funding. Rent, salaries.
Everything else was fundraised but we couldn;t do that without the core. We could easily prove that we saved the state more than the funding we received in work done, I think the figure we had then was every £8 we cost saved the state £80- and that was measurable; we all know the sorts of things our famillies were dealing with have long term costly outcomes as well.

When the state pulled the core funding in my area, the franchise folded: 3 jobs and an awful lot more costs for social services- assuming they picked the familles up which I sadly doubt.

I agree with this lady's gesture; charities back when I worked could not find enough good (and they had to be good) volunteers then why would it be different now? Especially with less funding security allowing time for recruitment etc

sachalr Thu 17-Feb-11 20:20:59

Alice you are so right in your points. What really gets me is that we are the sixth richest country in the world, yet we have these absurd cuts. Basic care in all social areas seems to be run by charities, it harks back to the victorian days...and this is what really scares me. We suddenly have a government made up of rich public school boys, who cannot possibly understand the reality of the poor and disenfranchised- not because they are malicious, just because it was not in their circle of experience.

The Victorian model saw the upper class women and the church as the saviours of the poor, this emotional, sentimental solution helped the benefactors more than the poor. Are we heading back towards this model?

earthworm Fri 18-Feb-11 08:43:09

Mellow - Denise Marshall was awarded her OBE in 2007, the Big Brothel response was not published until 2008.

here is the critical response if you are at all interested.

Mellowfruitfulness Fri 18-Feb-11 16:04:20

Thank you, Earthworm. <Off to read the report>

Mellowfruitfulness Fri 18-Feb-11 22:22:58

Have you read this? www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/18/welfa re-reform-bill-domestic-violence-mothers

It's about how the Welfare Changes could result in women having to stay in abusive relationships.

Not good.

LineRunner Sun 20-Feb-11 09:06:22

Government cuts to local community safety budgets will undoubtedly mean that there is less money for projects aiming to prevent and react to domestic abuse. Yet the government has written to all local authorities to say that,'community safety must be a priority'. Hollow laughter all round, as local charities find themselves having to bid to a diminishing pot to offer even a most basic service to those women most at risk (i.e. at risk of being murdered).

As for the subject of the OP, I admire anyone who raises the profile of children and women being traffiked for the sex trade. Of course there are academic disputes about the purity of the evidence. But no-one disputes that a massive problem exists in this country. Even in ordinary residential streets, women and girls are daily being abused and raped. As posters above have rightly said, they have no voice.

Meanwhile Barclays gets away with paying only 1% of its corporate profits as tax, having found some ingenious ways of tax avoidance, according to yesterday's Guardian.

It is in these circumstances that gestures happen.

Good that we can debate these things. Wouldn't fancy our chances in Libya today. Heartbreaking.

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