Thursday
Oct112012

Letter from the Chair | October 2012

Welcome to the Charities Safety Group. 

I have had the privilege of chairing the CSG for the last 4 years. It that short time the world has changed dramatically affecting everyone in all aspects of their lives. Charities have certainly not been immune from the effects of the global recession. Many have had to re-structure resulting in huge job cuts in the sector. Those who have kept their jobs find themselves with an increased workload covering a wider range of responsibilities. A dedicated health and safety role is becoming a rare thing! Because of that the need for the help the Charities Safety Group can offer is even more vital.  The CSG offers help, support and networking opportunities to anyone working in health and safety as part of a charity or not for profit organisation.  

You will have seen our new look website. I’m sure you will agree it has a bright new look and is easy to navigate from page to page. There are sample risk assessments, policy and guidance on a range of health and safety subjects; presentations from previous meetings; an opportunity to make comments and ask questions as well as links to other useful sites. Please let us know what you think of the new site and tell us of anything else you think would be useful to include. 

Due to government policy the Health and Safety Executive seem to be reducing the services they offer. They don’t seem to be as interested in the third / voluntary sector. They have stopped selling some of their publications including the book compiled by the CSG in collaboration with the HSE - Charity and Voluntary Workers - A Guide to Health and Safety at Work. The good news is the CSG is working on a new up to date replacement for this book. We hope to have it available for download sometime in the New Year. 

2012 started well for the CSG when it was awarded the Alan Butler Gold Award hosted by SGUK. The SGUK awards are an opportunity to recognise, celebrate and communicate the success of Safety Groups and individuals. We were delighted and proud that the work of the CSG was recognised in this way. 

One of the aspects of being Chair of the CSG I enjoy the most is the quarterly meetings. It is an opportunity to meet people from other charities in similar circumstances and learn from their mistakes or offer support and encouragement. It is also a time to listen to timely presentations on relevant topics. Some of the presentations we have recently enjoyed have been by Clair Guise from Marie Cure Cancer Care speaking about CoSHH; Andy Stokes from the RSPB representing Visitors Safety in the Country Group speaking about Volunteers safety in the countryside; Matt Webb from Argyll UK discussing Lone working; John Porter from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust speaking of Personal Safety and also some Legal updates from solicitors Eversheds regarding health and safety issues. These have been extremely relevant and informative meetings. We intend inviting similarly interesting speakers to join us in the next year. I hope you will be able to come and benefit from these events. 

I’m very proud of all we have achieved during the last year and hope we can do as well if not better next year. If you are already a member we hope you agree and will continue to support us and if you have not yet decided to join us we hope you will now be moved to do so. 

Rosalind Williams

Chair

Charities Safety Group

9.10.12

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