The Government pledges £42.5 million to help volunteers, charities and social enterprises

The Government pledges £42.5 million to help volunteers, charities and social enterprises
Cabinet Office

The Government today pledged £42.5 million to help volunteers, charities and social enterprises deliver extra real help to those that need it most, during the global economic downturn.

The action plan for the third sector, published by Minister for the Cabinet Office Liam Byrne, sets out a targeted package of support that includes measures to help hundreds of voluntary organisations, charities, and social enterprises step up advice, support and volunteering in the areas that need it most across the country.

The plan, which has been designed together with third sector leaders over the last three months, builds on the wide range of measures the Government has put in place to support people through the economic downturn, and on the Government’s long term commitment to voluntary organisations and social enterprises.

Liam Byrne, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said:

‘We’ve doubled government help to charities, voluntary group and social enterprises from £5.5 billion to over £11 billion. That means these vital groups face the downturn with unprecedented strength. 

‘The best of the British spirit is the way we pull together when times are tough. And its Britain’s charities, voluntary groups and social enterprises that so often make that happen.

‘We’ve been monitoring daily what’s happening to donations and demands for new services, and with incredible support from the sector we’re launching a lazer-targeted package of help with tens of millions extra for charities providing employment advice, mental health and family support services in the most deprived areas of England and Wales, plus millions extra to help those out of work start volunteering.’

‘Britain can beat this downturn. Just like we’ve beaten everything else this world has thrown at us in the decades gone by. But we’ll win by pulling together. Not by facing the storm alone’.

Kevin Brennan, Minister for the Third Sector, said:

‘The third sector is brilliant at knowing how best to provide real help for people who need it most.  We need to make the most of the skills and expertise the sector has to offer – helping people through times of challenge and change, finding new and more equitable ways of doing business through social enterprises, and empowering people to transform their lives and their communities. That’s why we are acting to invest in helping the third sector get stronger now and in the future.’

Real help for communities: Volunteers, Charities and Social Enterprises delivers a range of initiatives:

Up to £10 million investment in volunteer brokerage scheme for unemployed people with create over 40,000 opportunities for people to learn new skills and give back to communities through volunteering.
A £15.5 million Community Resilience Fund will provide grant funding to small and medium providers in communities most at risk of increased deprivation due to the recession. This is in addition to the £130 million already committed to the Grassroots Grants programme meaning more small grants to more community groups. 
A £16.5 million modernisation fund to help with the cost of mergers, partnerships and moves to more efficient sharing of back office functions for at least 3000 third sector organisations.
A £0.5 million investment in the School for Social Entrepreneurs to double the number of people it trains to become social entrepreneurs, particularly those working in deprived communities.
A national campaign to raise awareness of the Government’s commitment to pay all invoices within 10 days, which will improve cash flow for small organisations

You can find further information and download a copy of the report via the link below: