Legal aid in welfare: the tool we cannot afford to lose

The Foundation has been supporting work to gather evidence of the role and value of Legal Aid. Scope has looked at the impact of the proposed changes to Legal Aid on disabled people. The report draws on the experience of disabled people, with case studies that map out the impact that removing legal aid would have. The report makes clear that removing legal aid for welfare benefits cases will undermine the Government’s own ambitions to support more disabled people into work and deprive many of them of the very support that can make work viable.


Legal Aid is a Lifeline:Women Speak Out on the Legal Aid Reforms

The Foundation has been supporting work to gather evidence of the role and value of Legal Aid. The National Federation of Women’s Institutes has produced a powerful report called Legal Aid is a Lifeline. It focuses particularly on the needs of women who have experienced domestic violence and presents the results of focus groups with WI members and a literature review of the case for funding civil cases involving victims of domestic violence. The messages are clear: access to legal aid is a vital life saving resource for women who have experienced domestic violence; and the current proposals to cut Legal Aid represent a real threat to justice and fairness. This undermines the government’s own commitment to tackle violence against women.

A Decade of International Development Funding

The Baring Foundation has commissioned its Adviser Dr Tina Wallace to write an in-depth report on its approach to international development funding. This will be published in 2012. In advance of that we hope that this report on our approach for the last ten years will be of interest.


Creative Homes: How the Arts can contribute to quality of life in residential care

This is a joint publication with our partners NCF (the National Care Forum – the umbrella body for not for profit care providers) and NAPA (the National Association for Providers of Activities for Older People). It is intended to celebrate existing good practice in the use of the arts with and for older people in residential care and to inspire more and better work.


An Evidence Review of the Impact of Participatory Arts on Older People

This independent review by the Mental Health Foundation was commissioned by the Baring Foundation and is the first synthesis of the evidence base for the effects of participating in artist-led creative projects on older people. It is based on 24 peer reviewed studies and a further seven good quality evaluations which have not been peer reviewed (‘grey literature’) and lists more than 50 other studies. It concludes that ‘it is evident that engaging with participatory art can improve the wellbeing of older people and mediate against the negative effects of becoming older.’ It explores these impacts in terms of mental and physical wellbeing and the broader effects on communities and society.

Creative Ageing Conference Perth 29th March 2011

A speech by David Cutler to an all day event at Perth Concert Hall organised by Creative Scotland and the National Forum on Ageing. The conference launched a funding collaboration between the Baring Foundation and Creative Scotland for a national arts festival for older people.


Voluntary Sector Independence

This is the first publication of the new Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector, which has been established by the Baring Foundation to consider the state of independence of the sector over the next five years. The Panel will be looking closely at the evidence in order to shed light on this important issue and make recommendations. This consultation document defines independence, explains why it is so important and flags up issues that have already been raised as concerns. These include the potential negative impact of government commissioning and funding arrangements, as voluntary sector bodies deliver more services, and the effect of recent cuts in government support for voluntary sector bodies.


Collaborating to Advise; lessons from Avon, Coventry and Nottingham

This report, by consultant Kevin Ireland, looks at work by advice organisations in Avon, Coventry and Nottingham where the Foundation is supporting a range of organisational development through the Strengthening the Voluntary Sector grants programme. The circumstances for advice organisations are extremely challenging. Rather than retreat, the organisations discussed in this report have reached out to others to pursue their shared aims in imaginative and creative ways. There have been significant benefits in terms of improved capacity and improved relationships with the respective local authorities which, in turn, point to better services for people being supported. There have also been challenges, and the report reviews ways in which the impact of collaboration can be enhanced.

Report of a learning event for the Joint International Development Programme held in Entebbe, Uganda

In November 2010 the John Ellerman and Baring Foundations for the first time held a conference for our grantees in Africa. The report by Tina Wallace, adviser to the programme, describes this very successful meeting.


Housing Associations in England and the Future of Voluntary Organisations

This report by Andrew Purkis, funded by the Baring Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, focuses on the timely question of what happens to voluntary organisations if they take over mass delivery of state services. This question has dominated voluntary sector practice and policy in recent times. Interestingly, Housing Associations rarely feature in the debate. Yet, this is the outstanding example of a take-over of state services by the voluntary sector in our times. The report reviews the territory and reflects a number of interviews with key people in this field. It ends with a series of challenging questions about the future for Housing Associations and the wider voluntary sector.