It is probably an understatement for Paul Latham, Director of Communications and Policy at the Charity Commission, to say:

"The past year has been incredibly tough for charities. The pandemic has meant they are facing unprecedented challenges and trustees are making very difficult decisions, often at pace."

The trustees I work with have faced Government guidance on a Friday night changing how they provide care on a Saturday morning, insurance cover for communicable diseases being withdrawn, large drops in income, staff self-isolating and unable to work, the scary cost of PPE - to name but a few challenges in a very long list.

At the heart of dealing with crises is good governance - trustees who know their charity's charitable purposes and how they best want to achieve them; who put in place good budgeting and financial oversight with robust procedures in the office; that make decisions effectively and in a timely manner with clear minutes, reasoning and a paper trail; and that aren't frightened to challenge each other and the senior leadership team and who deal openly with conflicts of interest. 

The Commission is launching a series of videos to remind trustees of all of the above - worth a watch between binging on Netflix box sets (other streaming services are available!).