Oxfam ‘turns around reputation’ following safeguarding scandals

Oxfam has seen the biggest improvement among charities in terms of its reputation among the public over the last year, according to research by YouGov.

Following a spate of safeguarding scandals, the international aid charity looks to have turned around its reputation, says the polling organisation.

Its latest Charity Index Rankings put Oxfam top of its most improved charities list, seeing its score rise from 9.6 to 14.7 over the past year.

The rankings measure the public’s view of charities’ quality, value, satisfaction, reputation and whether they would recommend it.

Activity this year by Oxfam has included the high profile #SecondhandSeptember campaign fronted by the actor Michaela Coel, to encourage people to buy clothes from charity shops.

Oxfam’s reputation was hit hard by public outcry over sexual misconduct scandals related to its staff in Haiti and Chad, and subsequent attempts to cover them up.

The chief executive Mark Goldring resigned in 2018 and his replacement Danny Srikandarajah has since looked to transform the charity’s organisation amid the pandemic.

He told Charity Times in July that he landed the top role at the charity after telling trustees that “you’ve clearly let yourselves down”.

Others to see improvement in the ranks include RSPCA, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Mind, NSPCC and National Trust.

YouGov said of the RSPCA’s improved rankings that “may in part be a result of its sustained efforts to raise awareness of pet abandonment during the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Health charities

Meanwhile, YouGov’s Charity Index rates Macmillan Cancer Support as the top rated charity brand. Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation make up the rest of the top three.

Health charities dominate the top ten highest rated charities, with Marie Curie and Great Ormond Street Hospital in sixth and seventh spots respectively. Mental health charity Samaritans takes eighth place.

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