Wednesday, February 21, 2007

One Year on, the Unacceptable Professionally Unaccountable Face Of Registered Charities

Almost 12 months after legitimate and valid complaints were first made about domains purchased, registered and legally owned by Commission for Patient and Public Involvment in Health Commissioner and Mental Health Foundation Senior Policy Advisor David Keay being involved in targetting porn and drug content at people with or an interest in Mental Health issues these domains , which at one point he craftilly transferred away from himself, suddenly ceased this targetting but not before the Mental Health Foundation, Together , Comic Relief , the Charity Commission and the Independent Complaints Reviewer proved how professionally unaccountable and unwilling they were to intervene to protect the intended beneficiaries of the charity Mr Keay worked for .

This shortsighted all round lack of professional accountability also compromised the embryonic national service user network whose service user committee members simply could not understand why they and the new £750, 000 iniative - £500,000 alone from Comic Relief - had become embroiled in Mr Keay's undeclared online activities targetted at the networks intended audience.

Comic Relief had a chance to intervene. Its Director sat on his hands , arrogantly and dismissively responding to complaints through the e-mail account of his film production company because Comic Relief unfortunately clearly belongs to the over 70% of registered charities - stats from the Independent Complaints Reviewers 2006 Annual Report - which lack a professional, structured and meaningful complaints process and or part of the even higher percentage of registered charities who do not feel they need a complaints process at all.

Comic Relief will never get another penny from me again - and a growing number of people have echoed the same sentiment- unless and until it demonstrates that the intended beneficiaries of money donated to it and ordinary members of the public who donate that money have access to structured professional complaints process if they see Comic Relief is doing something wrong.

Here it was giving half a million pounds to an iniative fronted by a man involved in targetting the very people that money was intended to assist with porn and drug content.

Comic Relief's Director Peter Bennett Jones whole attitude appears to be that members of the public have no right to question how Comic Relief , a major grant awarding body, operates behind its high profile plastic Red nose, assuming it is is immoral to question charities like his when in fact it is ammoral of Comic Relief and Mr Bennett Jones to ask people to dig deeply in their pockets for worthy causes without Comic Relief having any structured complaints mechanism in place to deal with complaints even where there is a track record of abuse and /or failure to audit use of charitable funds for effectiveness.

Mr Bennett Jones is still in a position to put things right.

Dr Andrew McCulloch, the Director of Mental Health Media, on the other hwent even further , he took the trouble of having his charity's Chairman secretly circulate a dossier on me as if I were a) personally responsible for Mr Keay's objective involvment with the targetting of drug and porn content and, b) as a private individual and mental health service user , somehow more professionally accountable for my actions than he, Mr Keay or any or all of the above are.

This was an appallingly cynical and deliberately self-serving abuse and waste of the Mental Health Foundations charitable funds, resources and time and we know it was because the moment public scrutiny began to fall on the targetting I and other MH service users complained about, through this blog, petitions and other MH websites, someone put pressure on Mr Keay to ensure that the targetting he was involved with stopped.

Now that Mr Keay has finally acted in a professionally responsible way, it is possible to move on but bearing in mind the sheer number of organisations and people this issue has compromised in the year it took him and the Mental Health Foundation to act professionally I believe Mr Keay and Dr McCulloch should now seriously consider their positions as their actions - an arrogant refusal to just do the right thing in the first place - have raised serious questions about the way registered charities and the Charity Commission operate .

Dr McCulloch has also repeatedly claimed that this issue is personal and constantly made hollow threats to sue service users for even openly discussing this matter never once thinking about his Senior Policy Advisors personal and professional responsibility for his own actions and the fact that the Mental Health Foundation is also part of the over 70% of registered charity's that doesnt have a structured professional complaints process .

In fact, Dr Andrew McCulloch personally and pointlessly protected his Senior Policy Advisor at the expense of the Mental Health Foundation's and his own reputations. That was personal and the only reason McCulloch got himself and his charity into this mess is because he has ensured that his charity has been managed by personality rather than any reognisable professional standards or procedures when it comes to investigating complaints.

I for one want to see this issue and the lessons that can be learned from it included in the recently announced public consultation on reforming the way the Charity Commission handles and investigates complaints and Jodi Berg the solicitor who holds the appointment of the Independent Complaints Reviewer also needs to consider her position as she cannot possibly claim to be an objective party in this issue .Ms Berg knew that the targetting was wrong and yet she sat back and, at one point even suggested that service users contact the police rather than the Charity Commission or her, as growing public pressure and disdain for Ms Berg's and her teams bias and icy detachment forced the year long targetting to stop.

The main lesson learned? That the Charity Commission and the ICR are a waste of public money if it requires the intended beneficiaries of charitable funds , mental health service users with the help of carers in this case, a year to have a Senior Policy Advisor with a major mental health charity cease and desist from using domains he purchased, registered and owned to stop targetting them with porn.

The targetting should have ceased a year ago and it is both pathetic and scandalous that it took a long and drawn out publicly campaign and petition to force the Mental Health Foundation's Senior Policy Advisor to stop targetting drug and porn content at the people his charity was funded to serve because, and only because, his Director and the registered charity regulatory authorities decided to look the other way or bury their heads in the sand.

Please sign up to the pledge calling for more professional accountability from registered charities wont harm charities , it will better ensure that they stick to their aims and objectives and that any money you donate goes to the causes or people they claim to be serving.


Des Curley

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Is the Funding Tail Wagging the Dog?

Charities that get over 70 per cent of their income from the state should lose their charitable status - including tax breaks, and become "statutory agencies", to preserve the integrity and independence of the voluntary sector, think-tank Civitas said this week in a new report, Who Cares?

Author Nick Seddon outlines his case below, and the bosses of three charities with a high percentage of income from statutory sources, Lord Victor Adebowale of Turning Point, Clare Tickell of NCH, the children's charity and Bryan Dutton of Leonard Cheshire answer back.

Nick Seddon, author of Civitas report Who Cares?

"The proposal to reclassify charities is designed to promote debate and dispel some of the confusion surrounding what charities are and what they actually do. It is intended to address two levels of concern, one the inherent risk associated with becoming over-dependent on a single source of funding, the other more broadly the balance of power within the sector. ( i.e. fraud)

The Charity Commission recommends as best practice that organisations diversify their funding sources. Many ignore this, yet all the signs are that a body getting the vast majority of its money from one source is influenced by the values of that funder and reluctant to criticise it. Often, such charities grow to resemble the local and central departments on which they depend for money.

Like the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, which actually subsidised the setting up of Government quango NIMHE in return for rich pickings for becoming the mouthpiece for Government MH policy))

Mission creep can occur, when charities stray from their objects in pursuit of funding. Leonard Cheshire, which receives 88 per cent of its income from statutory sources, tells us on its website that grants and fees do not pay for… the projects that can truly be termed 'charitable'. Isn’t this a tacit admission that nine tenths of the work it does now is not truly charitable?

Eh, yes.....

There is a need to shore up the whole sector. Charities need to be free standing, not subject to the vicissitudes of party politics. But what if the next government decided not to fund the types of activity favoured by the current government? A funding framework might help the likes of Turning Point reorganise their income portfolio before push comes to shove.

From another angle, while no one doubts that the likes of Barnardo’s and NCH do good work, ( proof please!!!) there’s a category difference between a charity with thousands of staff taking millions of pounds from statutory sources and a small community based charity which is largely dependent on volunteers and the generosity of local benefactors. Yet they currently compete on the same playing field, both for service contracts and the goodwill of the public.

The Mental Health Charity Rethink attacked and alienated the public with its Churchill in a Straitjacket jape withoutout a thought for the £12,000 of donations wasted on this laughable campaign which actually reduced donations.

Differentiating between bodies might be one way to help charities choose how they define themselves – and help donors choose what they support."

Turning Point chief executive, Lord Victor Adebowale responds
"The two main concerns of those who question charities’ role in service delivery - that state funding will impair our ability to campaign effectively and that we run the risk of losing our independence from the state - simply fly in the face of reality.

Turning Point’s service users have multiple and complex needs. They are people who the private sector cannot profit from and the public sector cannot reach. The third sector has become, for them, the only effective intervention, combining highly responsive services and hard-hitting campaigning.

Our very public campaigns on issues from the closure of long-stay hospitals to the shortage of services for crack users could hardly be described as timid. Turning Point receives public money to run specific services the state does not provide and has always been prepared to lobby hard on issues and to develop innovative new services for those who cannot get what they need.

We refute the claim that delivering bespoke local services on a national scale somehow morphs us into an arm of government. It’s precisely our values as a charitable, social enterprise, unencumbered by shareholder interest that makes us so responsive and engaging for those who need us. It is important to remember what we do is deliver a much needed service to the public, but that is not the same as becoming a state-run public service.

The inverse care law says that those who need the most receive the least. Let’s not make it still worse for them.”

NCH chief executive Clare Tickell responds
"The values and ethos of NCH, enable us to meet the needs of over 160,000 children, young people and their families across the UK. We act independently of the state and use our income to break the cycle of deprivation for the most vulnerable children and young people throughout the country - this is our primary motivator.

At NCH we cherish our independence. We speak out and campaign when we think government is wrong and we are not afraid to shirk from difficult issues because they may play badly to a populist agenda. For example, we oppose the extensive use of antisocial behaviour orders as well as the withholding of housing benefits as a tool to reduce antisocial behaviour and we are not afraid of telling policy-makers or ministers.

But at the same time, we have led the way in developing the intensive family support service to reduce the antisocial behaviour of families at risk of eviction. NCH is not ashamed to work in partnership with local government as well as others in pursuit of shared goals. In fact, in line with our values, we have an obligation and responsibility to do so.

Furthermore, it is the voluntary sector that often steps in and delivers services because it is better placed than other providers.

At NCH, this is not about changing the way we work or relinquishing part of our core mission. It is about building on and using our strengths: being innovative and pioneering in our approach; having the ability to effectively engage with the most hard to reach children and young people; and using our years of experience to successfully reach out to those in most need.

For NCH, service delivery is not about the source of our funding but about our ability to deliver high quality, safe and flexible services to the children and young people we aim to help.
We are specialists in supporting society’s most vulnerable children, young people and their families. Our independent charitable values have informed this work for nearly 140 years and will continue to do so."

Leonard Cheshire director general, Bryan Dutton responds
"While Civitas have not actually sent us a copy of their report, nor did they speak to Leonard Cheshire while writing the report, the coverage suggests that it fundamentally misunderstands how the funding from government to many charities is used.

Leonard Cheshire provides social care services to many disabled individuals across the country. We do not receive grants from central government to provide these services – rather our services are based on the needs of individuals within local communities, generally funded by a local authority. This means that we are providing local, personalised services tailored to individual disabled people’s assessed needs. We are in effect 180+ small, local charities.

There is no ‘mission creep’ – if it is not a core part of our purpose then we won’t do it. And we are not influenced or swayed by government agendas. Unless, of course, they are the agendas we have persuaded the government to take on.

Leonard Cheshire ensures that contracts from local authorities and primary care trusts fully cover the costs of provision.

Donated income is not diverted to subsidise the state – we use it to enhance these services to create something that is unique, personalised and of the highest possible quality. We can guarantee that all donations to us are used for charitable purposes.

Using voluntary income, we are also able to develop and provide innovative projects, such as our Ready to Start or Discover IT schemes, which provide training and support for many more disabled people. We are also able to campaign on important policy issues affecting disabled people at a national, and indeed international level.

Leonard Cheshire believes it is essential that charities maintain their independence, and crucially, maintain whatever unique identity it is that makes them a worthwhile and valuable cause. It is a gross over-simplification to suggest that the source of a certain percentage of their funding determines this value.

It is the work they do, the values they embrace and the impact they make that should determine a charity’s worth. On this basis, Leonard Cheshire is proud and confident to call itself a charity."

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Pledge Explained

The Pledge is not just about one senior charity professional abusing his position , it is about the Charity Commission's and the Independent Complaints Reviewers own written admission that over 70% of charities in England and Wales dont have complaints processes and almost 80% dont think they need them.

This is appalling, if Tesco's, Sainsbury's or the Metropolitan Police acted like this their would be an uproar instead people trust charities with their money assuming they do their best by those they claim to act on behalf of.

The current system simply encourages and perpetuates abuse. Charities have no argument for being less accountable than anyone else , their finances and operations should be transparent and the sort of covering up and buck passing we have seen here by various charities, the Charity Commission and the Independent Complaints Reviewer over a really serious charge harms all charities and people wont donate to or sponsor charities if they appear to be more concerned about looking out for themselves than the people they collect money for and claim to act on behalf of.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Comic Relief

A fellow MH campaigner and fine artist sent me this pic to place on the blog to illustrate his disgust with the total lack of accountability in the MH charity sector and his view of the relationship between charities, the regulatory Charity Commission and the totally useless Independent Complaints Reviewer(ICR).

I decided to apply a little self censorship as the Charity Commission and ICR have gone to such great lengths to protect themselves from looking at or investigating the ' obscene and distressing ' pornographic content a senior MH charity official and his friends have been deliberately targetting at MH service users.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Lack of Professional Accountability

The Independent Complaints Reviewer - main photo shows ICR Logo - talked up the Charity Commission's handling of complaints in her recent report but kept the following out of her glowing foreword:

"One way that the Commission can help people
take their complaints about charities forward in the
right way is by encouraging charities themselves
to buy in to the concept and importance of well
structured internal complaints processes. The
Commission’s recent report, ‘Cause for Complaint’,
demonstrates that commitment to this area of
good practice is far from universal.

In fact, this showed that 70% of charities have no
complaints procedure, 79% don’t think that they
need one and, of particular concern to the ICR, a
worrying 77% of small and medium sized charities
think that it is the Commission’s job to deal with
complaints for them."

Jodi Berg Annual Report, 2006.

In other words , almost 80% of charities really dont give a shit about being professionally accountable and Ms Berg thinks this is a matter of encouraging them to buy into the concept of professional accountability. I think its more a question of the general public and corporate sponsors opting out of giving money to these charities unless they clean up their act.

Laughably, the ICR has no internal complaints process for investigating the unprofessional conduct of her own staff. Perhaps more sites like this one will help Ms Berg and her team buy into the concept that the public expects fairness and value for money not double standards.

This is fair comment.

ICR Jodi Berg Gives Green Light to Senior Charity Official who has Targetted his Charity's Beneficiaries with Porn Content

The Independent Complaints Reviewer(ICR) yesterday gave the Mental Health Foundation's Senior Policy Advisor David Keay aka David Crepaz Keay a green light to continue targetting his charity's client group with drug and porn content.

The ICR reviews the Charity Commission's performance in handling and investigating Complaints the Commission receives from members of the public. In this case a member of the public made a complaint to a registered charity named Mental Health Media (MHM) about its Director , David Keay , using his charity's staff and resources to operate a clandestine and anonymous website to attack other MH professionals and service users.

Mr Keay left MHM shortly after the complaint was made to take up a position with the Mental Health Foundation, (MHF) , run by Dr Andrew McCulloch, who was chair of MHM at the time he was operating his clandestine website. Mr McCulloch refuses to confirm whether he was aware of the website or not. McCulloch was certainly aware that complaints had been made about David Keay and his clandestine online activities at the time he personally offered him a job as a Senior Policy Advisor.

In February 2006 whilst fronting an MHF partnered iniative called the National Service User Network it was discovered that David Keay was once again involved in clandestinely targetting his own client group with unsuitable material, only this time the content was, as the Charity Commission described it, ' obscene and distressing ".

It is a matter of fact that Mr Keay purchased, registered and legally owned not one but three web domains involved in targetting this content at the client group MHF worked with yet when a formal complaint was made to Together and MHF, the two registered charities behind the National Network no investigation occured.

A complaint was then made to the Charity Commission who, after months of dithering and passing the buck decided instead to investigate the complainant for sending it the pornographic material David Keay and his associates had and still are targetting at the client group he works with at the MHF.

A formal complaint was then made to the ICR as targetting pornographic images at the beneficiaries of ones registered charity isnt a charitable objective and the Charity Commission has a legal duty to protect beneficiaries of charities being targetted in this way.

The ICR's Office Manager Robin Lockyer immediately spoke with the Charity Commission off record to network excuses why the ICR , Jodi Berg , could not investigate the way the Charity Commission had buried its head in the sand to avoid investigating why a senior charity figure with the MHF was still being allowed to target his client group with pornographic images.

A number of other people supported the complaint , a situation which seemed to anger Mr Lockyer and force him to change his excuses why the ICR could not intervene.

This was the final response from the ICR's office. So its now official, registered charity status in England entitles senior charity figures like David Keay aka David Crepaz Keay to target drug content and pornography at the vunerable people they work with. Please do not donate to or corporately sponsor Mental Health Media or the Mental Health Foundation unless or until these organisations prove that they are professionally accountable and are prepared to direct their staff, funds and resources towards charitable ends rather than simply allowing their managers to target their beneficiaries with porn.

Thank you for your mail of 29 January 2007.

You will recall my email to you of 24 January in which I said that I would discuss your complaint with the ICR. I have now done that.

The remit of the ICR is to investigate failures in standards of service or maladministration by the Charity Commission. She cannot investigate substantive complaints about a charity or individuals connected with a charity, and cannot challenge decisions that the Commission has properly made in accordance with its policy and guidance.

The Commission wrote to you to agree a summary of complaint on 29 November 2006, but the Commission subsequently decided that the material you lodged in return did not support a complaint about the standard of service you received from the Commission or failure to follow its policies. The Commission has decided not investigate your complaint.

The ICR notes the following;

· The Charity Commission considers that you have lodged no information to support a complaint about its own standards of service

· The ICR is unable to investigate complaints unless and until the Charity Commission itself has done so
· The substance of your complaint appears to be about an individual connected to a charity, and it is not within the remit of the ICR to investigate this.

For these reasons the ICR is unable to investigate your complaint.

You have mentioned that you are considering taking your complaint to the Ombudsman, and of course you are entitled to ask an MP to refer the matter to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman on your behalf. I would advise you that they too will consider if your complaint falls within their remit. I would also add that they would investigate a complaint against this office.

We do share your concerns and those of your supporters about the seriousness of the matters you have raised with the Charity Commission. Mrs. Berg feels that if you are concerned that some criminal activity has occurred the proper course of action is to take your complaint to the Police for them to investigate.

This brings our correspondence to a close. I am sorry that we cannot help further, although we will be happy to co-operate with any enquiries made by the Ombudsman’s office.

Robin Lockyer
Office Manager
Independent Complaints Reviewer
New Premier House (Second Floor)
150 Southampton Row

Telephone 020 7278 6251
Mobile 07766367839
Fax: 020 7278 9675

Monday, October 23, 2006

E-Mail to Comic Relief ref k500 User Network Project

Peter Bennett -Jones
Board of Trustees
Comic Relief

Dear Peter,

Re. inappropriate use of Comic Relief funds

I understand Comic Relief recently awarded Mental Health charities the Mental Health Foundation and Together k500 to establish a national 'Network of Networks' of Mental Health Service Users Groups and that the project managers are now asking all service groups wishing to participate to donate an additional k5.

Many MH service users are very concerned about this iniative as it is fronted by David Crepaz Keay an individual with numerous roles within the MH sphere , some declared, others not, and a history of abusing his position , staff and charitable funds for his own ends.

In 2005 Mr Crepaz Keay was asked to leave Mental Health Media , where he served as Director, after it was discovered that he had used the charity's funds and rsources to set up a clandestine website that attacked rival MH charity heads and MH service users. He was immediately re-employed as a Senior Policy Advisor with the Mental Health Foundation.

In early 2006 in connection with the National Network you have just funded Together sent out e-mails bearing Mr Crepaz Keay's e-mail address which derived from and linked to a domain targetting ordinary MH service users with porn and drug content. The domain was registered by Mr Crepaz Keay, he was hosting it on a server he paid for and as he was using the derivative e-mail from this domain as his principal e-mail address in his work with Together over the National Network it is clear Mr Crepaz Keay was aware of the content and who it was being targetted at as well as being legally responsible for it.

The Charity Commission have also officially warned other charities about dealing with Mr Crepaz Keay.

In spite of an official complaint to Together, the organisation refused to explain why the National Network literature was contaminated by Mr Crepaz Keay's clandestine antics. He is also officially viewed as the author of the ' Network of Networks' iniative although the idea of a national network was first discussed by ordinary service users who wanted to use the internet and free and/or open source applications and resources to loosely link together in a grass roots upwards rather than top down way to promote 'choice' at the individual level rather than be 'represented' by highly paid MH charity professionals they have no contact and very little in common with .

Society Guardian recently featured some blogs connected to this grass roots development here View from the Blogosphere

Would you please formally investigate these matters - further evidence can and will be supplied on request - and explain exactly how Comic' Relief's Trustees are going to ensure, as they are legally required to. that Mr Crepaz Keay and Co will not be able to misuse the money the general public freely donated and entrusted to Comic Relief , for their own ends and how you intend to audit the Network of Networks project for effectiveness as there is already an enquiry into how another k250 Mr Crepaz Keay was responsible for at Mental Health Media was spent.

Lastly, Comic Relief has awarded a grant of half a million pounds here Peter and the first thing the recipients did was ask those they wished to network and support to donate k5 for the priviledge and discuss selling DVD's of their meetings to ordinary MH service users.

I look forward to hearing from you

Please acknowledge receipt

Des Curley

Network of Networks Fraud Funded

David Crepaz Keay , a Senior Policy Advisor with the Mental Health Foundation and Anne Beales of the charity Together have managed to dupe Comic Relief into providing funds for their Network of Networks concept, a top down plan for Mr Crepaz Keay , who already has numerous declared and undeclared interests within Mental Health, and co to pretend that they somehow nationally represent service users.

Mr Crepaz Keay is not accountable to any service users, he has repeatedly lied about involving people on representative bodies , i.e. the MadforArts advisory group which had one prominent service user activist threatening legal action if MadforArts and Mental Health Media continued to misrepresent him as involved with it. David was also fired as Director of Mental Health Media for misusing its staff and resources to set up a clandestine website to anonymously attack other MH professionals and service users and most recently he was involved with a website based on his name, which targetted MH service users with porn and drugs content.

Mr Crepaz Keay has been repeatedly protected by other MH charity professionals who believe that their right to lord it over service users gives him the right to be abusive and get away with it.

Shannon O Neil of Mind is a good example . She explained that David was just taking the piss out of other service users without even considering whether charities and the people who manage them are funded to do this.

Worse,O'Neil is the Mind official now dealing with Crepaz Keay and his cronies on the National Network Group.

Anne Beales of Together refused to comment on the porn and drugs Mr Crepaz Keay was targetting at Mental Health Service users from a domain the e-mail he was officially communicating with Together derived from. Mr Crepaz Keay was hosting the content, he had not declared it but when it was exposed he claimed it was his former business partners website.

Mr Crepaz Keay owned the domain, had set up the site and , hosted it on a server on an account paid for by him yet Ms Beales claimed she had seen evidence that David was not involved.

Lets see that evidence Ms Beales.

Let all the service user groups you and David claim you want to network and support see that you two are fit to work with service users at all.

Let your funders see how representative, professional and worthy you really are.

Here's the skinny on the funding from Paul Tovey . Look at the sums involved here. Half a million pounds and requests of donations of five thousand pounds each from participating user groups to set up a project that is fanciful in the extreme and purely engaged in as a money spinner.

(Draft) Minutes of Network Planning Group Meeting
Held on Tuesday 26 September 2006 at
The Mental Health Foundation Offices



Liz Abraham’s [LA] Afiya Trust
Anne Beales [AB] Together

Karol Bradbury (Mind – Minute Taker)
David Crepaz-Keay [DCK] Mental Health Foundation

Rob Henderson [RH] Mental Health Matters

Bev Mills [BM] Mental Health Matters
Shannon O’Neill [SON] Mind Link
Donna Smart [DS] Borderline UK
Jan Wallcraft [JanW]

Janine Wood (Chair) [JW] Rethink

Welcome and apologies:
Everyone was welcomed to the meeting. Apologies for absence were received from Tina Coldham (TC), Simon Hayes (SH) and Jude Sellen (JS).

Minutes of last meeting and matters arising:
DCK suggested the Comic Relief note about the bid in the last minutes needed more detail. He said that Comic Relief have asked for another meeting with NPG and Tudor Trust, about evaluation and monitoring systems around any potential funding. A meeting has been arranged for Monday 23 October 2006.

The minutes of the last meeting have been sent out to all members together with the draft Terms of Reference. No responses have been received yet with regard to discrepancies or amendments.

DCK recently met with Delyth Morgan who is Chair of the National Patients Voice Initiative. It was agreed that discussions about all links with groups and individuals need to take place.

Update from all members:

JW has distributed DVDs and received positive feedback. Some people have said they would be willing to pay for them.

LA – has attended a couple of conferences – including the Labour Party conference. She has received mixed feedback about the Network.

BM apologised for not being able to attend the last three meetings due to ill health. She has received some feedback about the Network with a criticism being that it is London based.

JanW has been busy in the speaking at events in the southeast with SURGE. She is still getting asked about the Network and how to join. She attended the Mind Coming of Age conference in Leicester. She has given serious thought to UKAN’s questions.

RH/JW/DCK to attend this meeting


SON said the Mind Link summer magazine has been distributed with a

message about the Network. Have had a couple of people ask to find out

more and be added to the distribution list. Mind’s Coming of Age

Conference provided a platform to highlight the future of the Network, which seemed to be well received.

DCK has had a meeting with Delyth Morgan (National Patients Voice Initiative). As part of the reorganisation following the abolition of the Patient and Public Involvement in Health a number of voluntary organisations have formed an initiative calling for a National Public voice, as yet they have not budget or formal status but the Network will maintain communication with this group. We need to start mapping out relationships we want to have. There is a lot to do and we need to be clear about what we want. Now that we have the money from Comic Relief – £500,000 over five years the responsibility is on us to make things happen. This is a unique opportunity.

RH has been very busy monitoring certain websites and responding. A lot of good effort has been put in so far and would like to see how we are going to be known and what the contact details are going to be. We must not lose contact with grass roots levels.

AB said the National Mental Health Partnership have now got information re finance for Trusts and they are looking forward to linking in with us. They have invited her to speak to the financial directors’ annual conference. She has been invited to speak at the Mental Health Today conference. She feels it is important to get our collective message across. She has also been asked to speak at the Mental Health Providers Forum AGM. AB highlighted the two responses to UKAN’s correspondence from Together’s Chief Executive. AB also emphasised the importance of working with service users at a local level and talked about the ‘next generation’ of people in the user movement.

UKAN correspondence:

JanW is the last person to have had contact with UKAN. The draft response needs to be circulated and agreed then signed off by all those who attend the NPG. The revised letter of response was not available at the meeting, owing to technical problems. This will be circulated by email for the rest of the planning group to approve.

General discussion took place with regard to some of the difficulties being experienced without having a member of UKAN at the table to have direct discussion/dialogue with.

Terms of Reference for the Network:

The Terms of Reference have been agreed as work in progress and have been emailed to the network. RH asked if enquiries had been made regarding a bank account. DS has made some initial enquiries and will be following this up.

JanW to forward letter.

TC/AB/DCK make amendments. All sign off.



Letters have been written to organisations represented at the planning group asking for £5,000 each to assist financially during the development phase. Heard back from Afiya Trust to say they do not have any money.

SON asked when the money from Comic Relief could be accessed. AB said probably as soon as October 2006 but it was pointed out that this money couldn’t fund the planning groups work to date. The interim budget went up to the end of this financial year and should run alongside the development funding for the Network from Comic Relief until March 2007.

Where we go next:

Identity: AB suggested she draft a letter to go out to the general membership re what logo, name and the messages they want to give out. The Terms of Reference is to be sent out with this letter by the end of October 2006. Nominations close end of November 2006 and a decision is to be made at the December 2006 meeting.

Governance: Need to do some research into models and ideas. Report back to November meeting. Any other thoughts/ideas on this can be emailed to group members.

Recruitment: Adverts need to be sent out. Draft job descriptions and person specifications have been prepared.

Advert to be prepared and go out in January 2007. Shortlisting, interview and appoint by end February 2007 with a view to three workers being in post by April 2007.

Terms and conditions for staff: It was agreed that the planning group look at this. LA and DCK said they have some examples of good models.


Internal: We will need to be disciplined about reporting back to this group. Action points need to be named and timescaled.

External: It was agreed that all members must be consistent with what is being said in the press release. This cannot be actioned until we hear from Tudor Trust. A media plan needs to be prepared by mid October 2006.

Group members were asked to identify if they were willing to be a media spokesperson.

Networking: AB suggested that the group needs to be more systematic with regard to networking. She will do a trawl of the network to see whom people are in contact with. JW is going to set up a database with a small space for a narrative. She needs emails from members giving contact details. JW to email members with what she needs by early October. Then we will be able to see where the gaps are.

RH suggested that the minutes of the planning group meetings be signed off officially.

Lead: AB

Group: AB/DS


To check advert

Lead: RG



Lead: JW

Group: LA/JW/

Lead: June

Lead: DCK

Group: BM/ SON/DS/JS




Any other business:

Two more people have written with requests to join the group. This will have to wait until the governance review takes place when the group will be in a better position to respond. RH to write a letter to this effect thanking them for their interest.

DS is still awaiting contact details from Matt, Raza, David, Lisa, Dominic, Jude and Farah.

SON to chair the next meeting. RH to be a continuous support to the roving chair.

Dates of future meetings:

Meetings take place between 11:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.


Wednesday 18 October

Thursday 23 November

Tuesday 19 December


Monday 22 January

Monday 19 February

Monday 19 March

Communication regarding the Network can be sent to: June Marmolejo, Network of Networks, 82a Wick Street, Wick BN17 7JS

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Rethink's Cliff Gets Top Social Entrepeneur Position Despite Prior Failure

Cliff Prior leaves Rethink & goes to UnLtd

Cliff Prior has left Rethink because Paul Corry Rethinks Director of Public Affairs totally compromised him and the organisation with his shallow ' anti-stigma' media focussed take. Funds were also misused but once again we see the charity 'brotherhood' at work here as Prior was ultimately responsible for Rethink's disasterous Churchill in a Straitjacket stunt which backfired and annoyed people so much they vowed never to fund MH charities again and yet here's Cliff being offered top spot with an organisation that promotes and support social entrepeneurs.

The accounts dont seem to have been filed with the Charity Commission either and it very much looks like slippery Cliff has jumped ship to avoid the AGM.

Remarkable isnt it?

Rethink alienates the people who fund it in the full gaze of the media- Rethink's funds are down as a result - and the Brotherhood reinvent
the idiot who allowed this to happen as an inspiration to social

Equally remarkable is that Rethink's nemesis Paul Corry is now advising
MH service users how to campaign!
!! Amazing . Lets see what plans the
' brotherhood ' has for the incompetent Mr Corry the only Rethink executive without a profile on the Rethink site.

Now what was that about ' Ready Steady Plan ' Mr Corry?


David Crepaz Keay received the same help from the ' brotherhood' , he
abused funds and staff within Mental Health Media causing a scandal that
the charity has still not recovered from - sorry Maggie but its true -
and contrary to its own equal opportunities policy the Mental Health
, on instruction from David's old MHM boss Andrew '
Soundbite's for Cash ' McCulloch
rushed in to pick up David as a Social
Policy Advisor.

In any other line of business this type of conduct would draw the
attention of the serious fraud squad but of course Messrs Prior,
McCulloch, Corry and Crepaz Keay work for charities which arent
accountable at all so they not only get away with this kind of abuse
they depend upon it to enhance their career prospects.

If Cliff Prior had any scruples at all, he'd step aside and allow
someone with a background in social entrepenuership to lead his new
charity. Watch this space for McCullochs departure next.

This is fair comment .

Copied to Charity Commission.