Martin Blackwell to join Charity Retail Association as new Chief Executive
We are pleased to announce that Martin Blackwell will be joining the Association in January 2015 as the new Chief Executive.
He will be joining from the Association of Town & City Management, where he has been Chief Executive since 2010. His time at ACTM has been spent on gaining clear recognition of importance of Town Centre Management and building up a strong and vibrant membership.
Previously, Martin was Chief Executive of Action for Market Towns after 20 years in the retail sector. He is a Director of the International Downtown Association and on the Board of Best Bar None, the National Skills Academy for Retail Advisory Board and the DCLG Future High Street Forum.
CRA members pilot social value measurement
We are working with members to help them measure the social value they bring to local communities and high streets. Five charities are in the process of piloting exciting new projects – which are looking at diverse issues including the impact their shops have on the health, wellbeing and skills of volunteers; environmental benefits; and how their shops contribute to high street regeneration. The five charities involved in this first stage of the pilot are the British Heart Foundation, CLIC Sargent, PDSA, Shaw Trust and The Trussell Trust.
We hope this work will form the basis of a Social Value Toolkit for members, as recommended by the Demos report Giving Something Back. We aim to share the results of these projects with members in 2015, so that other charities will be able to learn from the experience of the pilots and conduct their own social benefit measurement.
Town centre renewal research
This month we held a joint seminar with the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) to bring together town centre managers, BID representatives and charities in order to present the findings of new research and discuss ways in which we can collectively facilitate these important relationships to benefit high streets and town centres. With 10,000 charity shops in the UK, they are major players on the UK high street.
The Charity Retail Association-conducted survey found that the majority of charities were involved with high street renewal already in one way or another – with the top ways of being involved being Business Improvement Districts (28 per cent of charities involved) and local traders’ associations (27 per cent of charities).
15 per cent were involved in chambers of commerce and 1 in 10 with other more informal initiatives. 83 per cent of charities wanted their shops to be involved in supporting their local town centres.
Attendees at the meeting discussed how they could further raise awareness among charities about town centre renewal initiatives in their area and how to get involved – and also how charity shops, town centre managers and BIDs could best work together in partnership for the benefit of the high street.
Charity Retail Awards 2014
Who won this year's prestigious Awards?