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“Policymakers need a kick up the butt. They need to do something, and they need to do it fast otherwise there are going to be so many more disadvantaged women; more suicides, homelessness, child removal. It needs acting on and it needs acting on fast.”
Nici, member of Agenda Alliance’s Women’s Advisory Network

The Corston Independent Funders’ Coalition (CIFC) has today launched its revised Statement of Purpose (SoP).

The SoP will tell the next government that the Coalition is renewing its commitment to working in partnership with many of our funded partners and other kindred organisations and funders “to realise a world where women experience justice, fairness, safety, and equitable treatment within a justice system which values their rights and needs.

 The focus of this collaboration has been expanded to include all stages in which women are in contact with or at risk of contact with the justice system, including early intervention work. The Coalition is also exploring whether prevention work with girls should be a focus to enable it to realise the recommendations set out by Baroness Corston in her seminal report in 2007, which advocated for ‘a radical new approach, treating women both holistically and individually – a woman-centred approach’.  

The coalition is currently ten full members and four supportive funders, including Barrow Cadbury, who are friends of the CIFC, and its next steps are to build working groups and pilot projects to deliver on its four objectives which are: 

  1. Adoption of good practice grant making approaches and techniques bysharing learning and advocating for women within its own Trusts and Foundations and funder networks. 
  2. Identifying and implementing good and promising practice, sharing key learning with practitioners, funders, and decision makers.
  3. Identifying emerging issues facing women in the criminal justice system and the organisations that support them and leveraging the heft, legacy, and expertise of the Coalition to work with and alongside those partners to secure improvements to local and national legislation, policy, and practice.
  4. Mobilising its own resources to deliver a robust and vibrant funding model and, where possible, advocating for a similar approach from statutory funders so that women’s centres and specialist organisations and services have the funds needed to deliver vital services.

There will be a test and learn phase until at least the end of this year to understand where and how the most impact can be made in this new phase of the Coalition’s life. Watch this space!

As a member of the Corston Independent Funders Coalition (CIFC) and a long-time advocate of progressive criminal justice policies for women, Barrow Cadbury Trust welcomes the announcement that the Government has paused its plans, announced by the Ministry of Justice in January 2021, to build 500 women’s prison places.  

Those 500 new prison places in existing prisons were estimated to cost £150 million – pulling funding away from badly needed and proven community approaches.  These cuts appear to be driven by the Government pulling in its belt rather than acknowledging what campaigners have long argued – that community-based interventions have better outcomes for women and their families.   

In Feb 2023 Barrow Cadbury Trust asked Doctor Kate Paradine to comment on the Female Offender Strategy Delivery Plan.  She expressed disappointment that it had taken 5 years to put together a delivery plan for the 2018 Government Strategy on Women’s Offending, despite prompts in January 2022 from a National Audit Office report criticising “disappointing” progress in implementing the strategy, and in April 2022 a Public Accounts Committee report calling for the Ministry of Justice to get a grip on delivery with a clear plan, funding and measures of progress. 

Despite so many setbacks and delays there is still collective energy and commitment from campaigners to push for implementation of the MoJ’s Female Offender Strategy.  In line with Baroness Corston’s vision set out in the Corston Report from 2007, the CIFC seeks to enable systemic change in how women experience the justice system supporting women-centred, holistic, and trauma-responsive approaches to divert them away from crime. Chloe Geoghegan, Chair of CIFC said:  

“The recent announcement that plans to build 500 new women’s prison places have been paused is much welcomed. The new prison places always flew in the face of the Government’s own Female Offender Strategy, which sought to reduce the number of women in contact with the justice system and increase the number of women managed in the community. 

If the Government is serious about its commitments, the £150 million earmarked for these prison places urgently needs to be reallocated to community services engaged in prevention, early intervention, and rehabilitation work with women. Central to these objectives are  continued, increased, and long-term commitments to funding women’s centres, a vital lifeline for women facing multiple disadvantages. 

The women who access these centres have experienced extreme trauma, deprivation, and social exclusion and are all too often, unjustly, swept into the revolving door of criminalisation as a result. With this £150 million, the Government has a unique opportunity to secure the long-term sustainability of services that interrupt cycles of harm and crime and, in doing so, could leave a legacy of helping to transform the lives and futures of thousands of women and their families.” 

The announcement gave no indication that the money earmarked would be spent on women in the community and we fear that, if not clawed back, it will be used to expand the male prison estate.  But the Trust working with CIFC will keep up the pressure to ensure the needs of women in contact with the criminal justice system do not continue to take a back seat in spending and policy priorities. 

Laurie Hunte, Criminal Justice Programme Manager 


Today Fair By Design is launching its new film featuring people with lived experience of the poverty premium in payments.

Everyday millions of payments are made in the UK, from online transactions to cash in shops. They are an essential part of life today. However, some payment methods create a poverty premium, meaning people are charged more for the way they spend their own money.


Fair By Design’s latest lived experience film highlights this injustice through three stories looking at energy, car insurance and access to cash. These stories show that people in poverty are charged more for essentials because of the way they pay for them.  

The film builds on work on the poverty premium in payments, and how people in poverty can access fair and flexible methods of payment. You can read a full paper on the issue here. 

Public dissatisfaction with the Government’s handling of immigration is at its highest level since before the EU referendum, according to new data from the Immigration Attitudes Tracker from Ipsos and British Future, which has tracked public attitudes to immigration since 2015.

The findings are set out in a new report, Immigration and the election: Time to choose, published by British Future.

Graph showing very high levels of dissatisfaction with the government on immigration since 2015

Some 69% of the public say they are dissatisfied with the way the current government is dealing with immigration and just 9% are satisfied. Only 16% of current Conservative supporters – and just 8% of those who voted Conservative in 2019 – are satisfied with the government’s handling of the issue.

Reasons for dissatisfaction vary according to people’s politics. The number one reason given is ‘not doing enough to stop channel crossings’, chosen by 54% of those who are dissatisfied, with 51% also saying it is because ‘immigration numbers are too high’. Yet 28% of those dissatisfied say it’s because of ‘creating a negative or fearful environment for migrants who live in Britain’ and for 25% the reason is ‘not treating asylum seekers well’.

For Labour supporters who are dissatisfied with the government, ‘Creating a negative or fearful environment for migrants’ (42%) is as important as ‘Not doing enough to stop channel crossings’ (41%).

Immigration and the election

When we do finally go to the polls later this year, will this be an ‘immigration election’ asks the report? Only for a minority. Around half of Conservatives (53%) say the issue is important in deciding how they will vote in the coming election, but it still comes after after the NHS (57%) and cost of living (55%) as their third most important issue. For Labour voters immigration ranks 12th in importance, with half as many saying it matters in deciding their vote (27%).

A numbers game?

In a period of high net migration, the new tracker survey finds that 52% of the public now supports reducing immigration (up from 48% in 2023). Four in ten people do not want reductions: 23% would prefer numbers to stay the same and 17% would like them to increase. Support for reducing immigration is still significantly lower than in 2015, the first year of the tracker, when 67% of the public backed reductions.

Attitudes differ significantly by politics. Seven in ten Conservative supporters (72%) want immigration numbers reduced. But most Labour supporters don’t, preferring immigration numbers to either remain the same (32%) or increase (20%), while 40% want reductions.

However, even those who want lower numbers find it difficult to identify what migration they would cut. Almost half of the 337,240 work visas granted in 2023 were ‘Skilled Worker – Health and Care’ visas. The tracker finds that 51% of the public would like the number of doctors coming to the UK from overseas to increase (24% remain the same, 15% decrease); 52% would like the number of migrant nurses to increase (23% remain the same, 15% decrease) and 42% would like more people coming to the UK from overseas to work in care homes (27% remain the same, 18% decrease).

For a range of other working roles, support for not reducing immigration numbers is higher than that for reducing them. Less than 3 in 10 people support reducing numbers of seasonal fruit and vegetable pickers, construction labourers, restaurant & catering staff, teachers, academics, computer experts and lorry drivers coming to the UK. When allocating work visas for immigration, the public would prefer the government to prioritise migration to address shortages at all skill levels (52%) than attracting people for highly skilled roles (26%).

Support for reducing the number of international students coming to the UK has increased by 4 points, with around a third of people (35%) preferring numbers to be reduced. But most of the public (53%) does not want to reduce student numbers. A third would prefer numbers to remain the same (34%) and a further fifth (19%) would like to see them increase.

The politics of immigration

As the UK heads towards a General Election, the tracker finds that the Labour Party is more trusted than the Conservatives to have ‘the right immigration policies overall’. Reform UK is slightly more trusted than the Conservatives but less trusted than Labour. Some 22% of the public says they trust the Conservative Party to have ‘the right immigration policies overall’, while 68% say they don’t trust the party. For Labour, 33% trust the party while 51% say they don’t. And 26% of the public says they trust the Reform UK Party on immigration, while 47% say they don’t – a similar score to the Lib Dems (trust 23%, distrust 50%).

Among leading politicians tested, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had the highest ‘distrust’ score, with 70% of the public saying they do not trust the PM on immigration and 21% saying they do. Some 57% say they distrust Labour leader Keir Starmer on immigration, with 31% saying they trust him. Nigel Farage is distrusted by 59% of the public on immigration and trusted by 29% – making him slightly more trusted than former Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who is distrusted by 63% and trusted by 22% of the public.

Refugees, asylum and Rwanda

On asylum, the tracker finds that 47% of the public supports the Rwanda scheme and 29% are opposed to it. Opinion is divided by politics, with 75% support among Conservatives (and 10% opposition) compared to 31% support among Labour supporters and 47% opposition.

Only 32% of the public thinks the Rwanda scheme is likely to reduce the number of people trying to enter the UK without permission to seek asylum, while 56% think it is unlikely to do so.

Because the Rwanda scheme has often been mis-described, for instance as an offshoring scheme, the tracker tested which of three versions of the Rwanda policy people prefer:

  • 32% chose the description of the government’s actual Rwanda scheme: “Remove asylum seekers to Rwanda to claim asylum there, without first assessing the claim.”
  • 25% preferred a different version of the Rwanda scheme to the one that the government is pursuing: “Assess these asylum claims in the UK first, to only consider removals to Rwanda for those whose asylum claims fail”.
  • 26% chose “Do not send anyone to Rwanda, regardless of how they arrived.”
  • 5% chose “none of these” and 12% “don’t know”.

Overall, more people still think immigration has a positive impact on Britain (40%) than a negative impact (35%) though positivity has fallen slightly, by 3 points, since the last tracker in 2023 and from its March 2020 peak of 48%.

Ipsos interviewed a representative sample of 3,000 adults online aged 18+ across Great Britain between 17-28 February 2024. Data are weighted to reflect the population profile. All polls are subject to a range of potential sources of error.

Download and read the full report here

The annual Foundation Practice Rating (FPR) report into the performance of charitable foundations is now available. Download the report here.

The Foundation Practice Rating (FPR) is an objective assessment of UK-based charitable grant-making foundations. It looks at foundations ’practices in three important and interlinked domains of practice: diversity, accountability and transparency.

The report has found continuing improvement in the sector, with more organisations scoring high scores across the board and fewer recording the lowest marks. Giving Evidence – the researchers who compiled the report, gave a hundred foundations ratings from A to D on each one’s diversity, accountability and transparency, with eleven scoring A overall (up from seven in 2022).

Conversely, fourteen foundations were rated D overall with nine being given the bottom rating in all three categories, compared with twenty-three and seventeen in the previous year.

Diversity was the domain where performance was weakest although, again, significant improvements have been made in the past twelve months.

The FPR was initiated in 2021 by Friends Provident Foundation, and is funded by a group of thirteen UK grant-making foundations. The ‘Funders Group ’this year were: Friends Provident Foundation; Barrow Cadbury Trust; The Blagrave Trust; Esmée Fairbairn Foundation; John Ellerman Foundation; Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust; Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust; Lankelly Chase Foundation; Paul Hamlyn Foundation; Power to Change; The Indigo Trust; City Bridge Foundation; and John Lyon’s Charity.

In response to the FPR, emerged a campaign called The Three Commitments which encourages grant-making trusts and foundations to enhance their practices in the important key areas of diversity, accountability, and transparency.

The Three Commitments campaign enables foundations to lead by example and inspire positive change within the grant-making sector by committing to three changes they would like to make.

At Barrow Cadbury Trust, we’re working to build an economy that delivers more for people and planet – so we’ve joined forces with dozens of organisations in the Future Economy Alliance to push this up the political agenda.

Today we’ve been in Parliament to launch a new report on the national policy change needed to better support our growing movement and create a stronger, fairer, greener economy. You can read all the details in our ‘Business Plan for Britain’ on the Future Economy Alliance website.

We’re calling on the next UK Government to recognise the importance of working for a purpose beyond profit and make this mission-led approach the national norm. An estimated four million of us work in social enterprise and other mission-led organisations; we’re living proof that business can be a force for good, and we need those in power to unleash our full potential.

It was heartening to see influential people taking an interest at the House of Lords this morning – including cross-party MPs, national journalists and economic think tanks – but publishing this report is just the start. We’re determined to make this a priority for the General Election and beyond.

Arvinda Gohil OBE, chair of the Future Economy Alliance, commented: “Millions of us across the UK work in mission-led organisations that show the way to a stronger, fairer, greener economy. We just need those in power to unleash the full potential of our movement, so that this way of working becomes the national norm. With government and business working in partnership, we can build an economy where all of society profits.”

Lord Victor Adebowale CBE added: “It’s exciting to see champions of change coming together from all business sectors across the UK, united in the work to fix our economy. As a mission-led entrepreneur myself, I hope this message will ring loud and clear in the halls of Westminster: Business as usual isn’t working; we need a new business plan for Britain.”

Barrow Cadbury Trust is very pleased to be part of the funders collaboration – The Corston Independent Funders’ Coalition (CIFC) – which has recently submitted its response to a consultation on Imposition of community and custodial sentences guidelines.

The CIFC believes that all women should have access to justice in the criminal justice system – women already involved in the system as well as those at risk – and that women’s specific needs must be met:

  • at each point of contact with the criminal justice system, as opposed to being shoe-horned into a system that does not account for their specific gendered needs
  • through trauma responsive ways of working which address the underlying vulnerabilities and disadvantages that the vast majority of women in the criminal justice system experience, as
    well as nurturing their strengths.

In line with Baroness Corston’s vision set out in the Corston Report, the CIFC seeks to enable systemic change in how women experience the justice system including through supporting women-centred, holistic, and trauma-responsive approaches to divert them away from crime. Much of the way the member organisations fund, and work more widely, therefore is shaped by systems thinking. The group understands that the issues it is seeking to address are complex, that causes and consequences are interconnected, and that the power to create change is spread across the system. This work therefore requires partnering, collaboration and co-production with all actors, particularly those with lived experience of the criminal justice system, to find solutions that will alter the underlying structures and supporting mechanisms which make the system operate in a particular way. And it is this commitment and approach that it brings to the table.

The CIFC is a diverse group of funders with different charitable objectives, interests, and institutional frameworks. Opportunities for members to engage are structured around the three ways in which the Coalition seeks to make a difference – networking and sharing information and learning about policy, practice and grant-making, collaborative funding, and influencing policy and practice.

Today Ofgem, the energy regulator, announced a lasting solution to eliminate the extra costs for paying for energy using a prepayment meter. This announcement is a big win and follows years of campaigning for this poverty premium to be eliminated.

Ofgem also said it had not made a final decision on the extra costs for people who pay for energy when they receive their bill. It plans to continue to explore how to tackle this issue and will publish a consultation by the end of the year. If implemented, a reduction or end to this extra cost would happen from April 2025.

Maria Booker, Head of Policy, Fair By Design, said:

“This is a big win for people on low incomes. Today’s announcement introduces a lasting solution. We welcome recognition from the regulator that people on low incomes should not pay more for their energy.

“We also welcome Ofgem’s intention to bring down the premium for paying on receipt of bill, even if not as soon as we had hoped.

“But the extra cost for those who pay when they receive their bill still exists. We want to see this completely eliminated and will continue to push hard for this change to happen.”

Read the full release on Fair By Design’s website.

The Barrow Cadbury Trust and Lloyds Bank Foundation invite proposals to conduct an independent evaluation. We are seeking an evaluation partner to deliver a summative evaluation of Q-SEED, a new pilot leadership programme for Black and Global Majority (BGM) leaders in the criminal justice system. We seek an evaluation consultant, agency or partnership who will work with our appointed provider.

The overarching objective of the programme is to challenge and change the criminal justice system, from policy through to service design and delivery, through building leadership capabilities. The pilot programme will have four core elements:

  • Personal development and wellbeing
  • Networking
  • Systems thinking and policy development and influencing
  • Leadership competencies and organisational development

The role of the evaluator will be to conduct a summative evaluation on the impact of the programme for participants and the wider criminal justice sector.

A budget of £25,000 is available for the evaluation.

Pilot programme outputs

The programme will recruit up to 20 Black and Global Majority leaders in the criminal justice system, including both people in current leadership roles and emerging leaders.

The training methodology will focus on experiential learning; group facilitation; action planning; coaching & mentoring both in-person and virtual; expert-led classes; shadowing opportunities and access to on-line learning; and research analysis.

We anticipate the successful bidder to provide:

  • An evaluation workplan or inception report
  • Co-produced monitoring, evaluation and learning framework for the
    programme, including any associated measurement tools
  • A short interim report during the delivery of the pilot to capture
    emerging outcomes
  • A final impact report on the programme (no more than 30 pages)
  • A workshop to share final findings on the impact of the programme
    with the programme provider, participants and funders
  • A standalone executive summary to a standard that can be published

Outcomes and objectives

Through this programme the funders and delivery partners are seeking to support people and charities to positively influence the criminal justice system.

  1. Support the design of the evaluation and monitoring framework for the programme to support the learning of the provider and funders during delivery.
  2. Robustly and impartially assesses the impact of the pilot programme against its objectives once it has concluded and a minimum of six months afterwards.
  3. Make recommendations for the further development and roll out of leadership programmes as a route to long-term social change in the criminal justice sector.
Essential skills and knowledge

  • Proven experience in conducting summative social impact evaluations
  • Expertise in developing monitoring, evaluation and learning frameworks
  • Lived experience and understanding of working with Black and Global
    Majority communities
  • Ability to clearly communicate accessible findings and
    recommendations to a variety of audiences and stakeholders, i.e.
    without using jargon

Your values

Your values must align with the programme, including those of the consortia delivering the programme, and it is essential that you understand and display a commitment to the following values and characteristics.

  • Anti-racist practice
  • Adaptability
  • Flexibility
  • Empowering of others
  • Cultural awareness
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Empathy
  • Integrity and honesty
  • Passion for social change
  • An awareness of and ability to respond to issues of intersectionality
Application process
Proposals should be submitted by emailing [email protected] with the title:
[Your organisation name]: Evaluation proposal for Criminal Justice Leadership Programme
By 5pm, 11 March 2024.

Interviews will be held on 26 March 2024.

Read the full tender.