Third Sector’s most-read stories of 2023


As the charity sector approaches the end of another eventful year, it’s time to reflect on the major stories of 2023.

Which articles were most popular among Third Sector’s readers? Read on to find out!

10. Nine staff sacked four weeks into 12-month contracts at health charity

The eating disorder charity Beat terminated the contracts of nine recruits in August, just four weeks after they were hired. The staff members were employed in May on 12-month contracts and were told they were losing their jobs because the charity did not have the funds for their employment, a source told Third Sector.

9. Charity praised over handling of appointment of chief executive with a murder conviction

Action for Children defended its chief executive, Paul Carberry, in May after media reports about his past conviction for murder. Carberry served five-and-a-half years in a young offenders institution and then in prison after being convicted in 1979 of killing a man when he was aged 16. The justice charities Unlock and Transform Justice praised Action for Children for the way it handled Carberry’s appointment. 

8. Shock as major cancer research charity closes

The National Cancer Research Institute announced plans to close in June, after 22 years in operation. The news came as a shock to many, with medical professionals and cancer campaigners describing the decision as a “massive blow” to advances in research and treatment.

7. Income at British Red Cross doubles to £440m in a year

Income at the British Red Cross almost doubled in just a year to a new record high of nearly £440m, documents published in April showed. The figures, which were revealed as part of an information pack as the BRC was recruiting for its new chief executive, showed the charity recorded £448.2m in the year to the end of December 2022 – almost double 2021’s £225.5m.

6. Leonard Cheshire admits survival doubts after fourth consecutive deficit

The disability charity Leonard Cheshire said it was facing an uncertain future as its bosses tried to navigate a series of “significant financial challenges”. These concerns came after it posted its accounts for the year ending March 2022, which recorded the charity’s fourth annual deficit in a row. 

5. 40-year-old charity changes its name

The London Marathon Charitable Trust changed its name to the London Marathon Foundation in February, as part of a major rebrand. The charity was founded in 1981 by the London Marathon’s co-founders Chris Brasher and John Disley to distribute the surplus funds from the annual event.

4. Three joint charity chief executives resign

The three joint chief executives at a charity supporting deaf people resigned in January. Amanda Casson Webb, Lesley Frearson and Sue Evans had led the Royal Association for Deaf people since 2019 and had worked for the organisation for 15, 22 and 17 years, respectively.

3. Charity chief leaves after one month in post

The chief executive of Jewish Women’s Aid, a domestic abuse and sexual violence support charity, left the role in April – just one month since starting the job. Alison Rosen left the post with no further explanation, with only a brief announcement from the charity. 

2. Disability charity bans Friday meetings

The disability charity Leonard Cheshire banned Friday meetings and asked staff to limit their email usage in a bid to reduce stress. The changes, rolled out in April, were part of a three-month pilot scheme, and saw staff asked not to schedule meetings on a Friday and to avoid sending emails before 10am or after 4pm.

1. 30-year-old charity closes after mass trustee resignations

The Scottish healthcare charity, HIV Scotland, announced its closure in March, after 30 years in operation. Its closure came after years of governance issues, including fraudulent transactions by its former chief executive Nathan Sparling, who stepped down in February 2021. 

This led to the resignation of the charity’s chair and a significant number of the board. Remaining board members made the decision to wind down the charity after they were “unable to identify a unifying solution”.

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