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Protect urge charities to ‘get whistleblowing right’ and reach out to sector with free pilot to transform cultures

In a bid to transform and improve the whistleblowing and speak up culture of charities, Protect is reaching out to offer its help and expertise in a pilot it hopes will transform the sector.

In June, Protect partnered with the Charity Commission to launch a six-month advice line for whistleblowers working in the charity sector, and calls have risen by 16% this year. If a charity worker or volunteer has concerns over wrongdoing and wants independent advice on how to raise it effectively, they can call Protect.

Now Protect wants to engage charities with its whistleblowing 360 Benchmark tool – which tests the whistleblowing culture of an organisation – in a bid to offer further support and is offering the newly developed 360 Benchmark to charities with 50 plus staff on a ‘first come, first served basis’.

Chief Executive Francesca West said, “Following the very well documented Oxfam scandal, we recognise there is much to be done to support the Third Sector. We are already working with the Charity Commission operating a pilot advice line for charity workers. We now want to offer our 360 Benchmark as a pilot to a cohort of charities to help them understand where they may be falling short on best whistleblowing or speak up practice.”

Earlier this year, an Oxfam whistleblower resigned claiming Oxfam were still failing to deal with harassment and bullying at its head office despite pledging zero-tolerance to misconduct following the Haiti scandal.

The whistleblower told The Times she did not believe its public claims it was reforming and in her resignation letter said, “I am very sorry to be having to leave Oxfam but I can no longer work in this environment. [We are] telling the public that we are doing all we can to change the culture here and protect people . . . It feels to me like that simply is not true.”

Charities are being invited to a roundtable taking place in October where they will be able to sign up to the pilot which will be open to 30-40 charities with 50-plus employees. Upon completion their results will be analysed and discussed anonymously.

If you are interested in taking part, please contact Lou@protect-advice.org.uk before Friday 19 September.