February 25, 2011

Charity CEO returns OBE in protest at cuts

by Jan Harris

Denise Marshall, chief executive of London-based charity Eaves, has returned her OBE to David Cameron because of the cuts her charity is facing.

The charity’s POPPY Project, which provides accommodation and support for women who have been trafficked into prostitution or domestic servitude, is facing a 75 per cent cut to its funding from the Office for Criminal Justice Reform, as part of the government’s austerity measures.

In an interview with the Guardian Ms Marshall said she was returning the medal because she could no longer provide the services for which she received the OBE.

She also attacked the goverment’s ‘Big Society’ concept, which relies on volunteers to provide service, when many of her clients need professional help to deal with serious issues such as post traumatic stress disorder.

When he launched the ‘Big Society’ Mr Cameron said it would represent “the biggest, most dramatic redistribution of power from elites in Whitehall to the man and woman on the street”.

Unfortunately he seems to have failed to appreciate that the man and woman on the street are powerless without financial support.

The Government is already on rocky ground over its attitude to human trafficking.

Last summer it became one of only two EU member states to decide not to sign up to the European directive on human trafficking.

The move led to claims that it was putting its anti-European ideology ahead of women’s safety.

The EU directive is designed to ensure cooperation and common standards across the EU for the prosecution of traffickers and the protection of victims.

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