The Charity Law Association's annual conference took place yesterday and, as we do every year, we ventured down to the capital to hear a range of talks on issues facing the sector.

There was a very interesting panel discussion around the return or refusal of donations by charities. The Charity Commission set out the regulatory framework whereas others discussed the practical issues and public perception where donations are made to charities from less than savoury sources. 

The afternoon was dominated by safeguarding and we heard what I found to be quite staggering statistics in terms of the number of people with certain predispositions. The challenges faced by charities in ensuring that children, young people and adults at risk are adequately protected are serious and the importance of a robust policies and procedures, and a strong safeguarding culture should be very high on the agenda of charities working with vulnerable beneficiaries. 

It was also interesting to hear about the NCVO Code of Ethics and how this will add to the existing voluntary governance framework.

As has been the case for as long as I have been qualified, the Charity Law Association annual conference continues to be one of the highlights of the year. I really should get out more.