South West and Wales Conference 2019

Charity finance policy Financial sustainability Fraud Governance, regulation and compliance Accounting and reporting Pensions and HR IT and data Tax and VAT Leadership

Wednesday 27 November 2019

The Bristol Hotel
Prince Street

At a difficult and uncertain time for us all, we know charity finance professionals need to be one step ahead for their charity and beneficiaries. With a thought-provoking programme, our biggest conference in the region will bring you the regulatory and topical knowledge you need to know to be effective in your pivotal role as a charity finance professional, and build skills vital to what you do.

We have put together two streams of sessions to choose from including technical advice and updates, the very latest news from the sector, and case studies, so you can develop insights and knowledge from the important issues we face today and in the future.

The day is also a brilliant networking opportunity, allowing you to gather with your colleagues across the sector and region, and share your challenges and successes.

There will be an exhibition running throughout the day so you will have the chance to meet exhibitors working in a range of service areas and discuss your charity’s needs with the experts

Who should come along to the CFG South West and Wales Conference?

This event is open to members and non-members and will have valuable takeaways for those responsible for financial management in your charity, including financial managers, finance directors, CEOs and treasurers.

View the programme for the day below.

Would you like to bring a colleague or trustee along? If you are a member, you can book one additional place on this event for just £99 - to do this, email with your attendee details. 

CFG events, training and members’ meetings can count towards your continuous professional development (CPD). Contact your association for further information, or email

Becoming a CFG member gives you discounts on events and training, and access to exclusive events. Membership is open to your whole organisation. Join our community




Richard Sagar, Policy Manager, Charity Finance Group

Richard Bray, Finance, Regulatory & Tax Manager, Cancer Research UK

Guy Biggin, Partner, Crowe UK

Tara Westcott, Director, Crowe UK

Nicholas Hartley, Head of Business Improvement and Innovation, Ecclesiastical

Henry Stewart, Chief Happiness Officer, Happy Ltd

David Hawes, Director of Finance and Infrastructure, Devon Air Ambulance Trust

Elin Wyn, Chair, Chapter

Jonathan de Wilton, Grant Thornton, Senior Manager

Diane Bassett, Director of Corporate Services, South West Lakes Trust

Lesley Whitworth, Head of Finance, South West Lakes Trust

Eve Upton, Consultant, Bid Craft

Jon Darby, Managing Director, BidCraft

9.00 - 9.50

Registration and refreshments

9.50 - 10.00

Chair's welcome and introduction

10.00 - 10.40

What's happening in the charity sector? 

The opening plenary will give you a snapshot of the charity sector landscape, so you can gain important insights into what to expect over the next year, as well as a look at how the sector and your organisation may be impacted by the ever-present issue of Brexit.

Richard Sagar, Policy Manager, Charity Finance Group

10.40 - 10.45

Move between sessions

10.45 - 11.40

1A: How to manage multiple teams 

As a finance manager, you are frequently in the position of managing teams whose function you have less or even no experience in. This session will help you understand how to give the best support to your teams, and make sure their performance is optimised and desired outcomes are being met.

David Hawes, Director of Finance and Infrastructure, Devon Air Ambulance Trust


1B: Making Tax Digital: Implementing MTD - A charity case study

In the first of our technical sessions of the day, this charity case study will share the challenges and opportunities faced by Cancer Research UK in the implementation of Making Tax Digital, giving you perspective and insights into how you and your organisation can address this regulation change effectively.

Richard Bray, Cancer Research UK

11.40 - 12.00

Break for refreshments 

12.00 - 13.00

2A: Benchmarking, impact and your charity

Benchmarking is a highly useful tool in the all-important issue of impact. This session will address how charities can utilise benchmarking to decrease costs, improve effectiveness and increase impact, as well as consider how it can add value and demonstrate your charity's mission to stakeholders and beneficiaries.

Guy Biggin, Partner, Crowe UK 

Tara Westcott, Director, Crowe UK 

12.00 - 13.00

2B: VAT and Tax update

The session will give you updates on tax and VAT latest regulation. 

Jonathan de Wilton, Grant Thornton

13.00 - 14.00


14.00 - 14.55

3A: A charity looking to diversify its income - lessons learned

Chapter is a centre for contemporary arts in Cardiff with a turnover of over £4 million. Anticipating a reduction in public funding and facing increased competition for project funding Chapter looked for opportunities to increase unrestricted income streams. A perfect storm of challenges meant some difficult decisions had to be made. 

Elin Wyn, Chair, Chapter 

14.00 - 14.55

3B: Cyber security: be prepared

The 2019 Digital Culture Media and Sport survey for cyber security breaches shows an increase in the number of cyber attacks. There are significant risks associated with digital and finance in charities, particularly from the threat of a cyber attack. This session will look at how you can mitigate these risks and ensure your security system is effective. 

Nicholas Hartley, Head of Business Improvement and Innovation, Ecclesiastical

14.55 - 15.15

Break for refreshments

15.15 - 16.15

4A: Financial planning in challenging times

In this session we will explore how financial planning processes can be more responsive to your organisation's needs, and how to be more flexible and adaptive through times of change and uncertainty.

Diane Bassett, Director of Corporate Services, SW Lakes Trust

Lesley Whitworth, Head of Finance, SW Lakes Trust

15.15 - 16.15

4B: The 7 principles of bid writing

As many funding organisations turn away from grant giving models, service delivery charities are pushed towards bidding for contracts to maintain their income. This session will offer insights into how to prepare for the tender, how to write compelling content with the evaluator in mind, scoring to win, and other lessons from different industries.

Jon Darby, BidCraft

Eve Upton, BidCraft


16.15 - 16.20

Move to closing plenary

16.20 - 17.00

Closing plenary: Let's create a happy, productive workplace

A welcome return for our closing plenary, Henry Stewart, Chief Happiness Officer at Happy Ltd shares with you how you can explore different ways of working, how happy and enabled employees can drive results and productivity, becoming more people focused, playing to people's strengths - and much more. Don't miss it.

Henry Stewart, Chief Happiness Officer, Happy LTD


Chair's close and conference ends

Charities - Members£139.00
Charities - Non-members£169.00
Corporate - Members£249.00
Corporate - Non-members£329.00
Individual - Members£139.00
Individual - Non-members£169.00
Community Leisure UK - Members£139.00
HTN - Members£139.00