Rob Wilson spoke at a reception for people organising Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving on 1 December 2015, and their MPs.
Thank you Kim and for all the work of the Giving Tuesday team to organise today’s event. And thank you all for coming here this afternoon.
The UK is one of the most generous nations in the world. Around 30 million people aged 16 and over volunteer at least once a year, giving up their time, talent and expertise to help their fellow citizens.
During the last Parliament, we invested £36 million through the Centre for Social Action to support the development of projects that harness social action to help tackle public service challenges. Challenges like helping older people to stay healthy, or supporting young people to reach their potential.
Through our community programmes we devolved power and resources so communities can take action on issues they care about. For example we have recruited and trained over 6,500 community organisers – people who work on behalf of their community right across the country.
We supported major social action campaigns and movements like Social Saturday and Giving Tuesday.
And this government has set out its vision for a bigger stronger society. A society with compassion at its heart.
So we will continue to make giving as easy and compelling as possible, and to help civil society organisations access the tools they need to harness social action.
This includes our plans for a workplace entitlement to 3 days of volunteering leave for employees in large companies and the public sector.
And already this Parliament we’ve launched the Small Charities Fundraising Training Programme, supported Remember A Charity in Your Will Week, and backed the ‘Grow Your Tenner’ fundraising campaign to encourage donations to smaller charities and community groups across England.
With the Spending Review coming up, I look forward to sharing more about our future plans in the coming weeks.
So on Tuesday 1 December, the UK will celebrate Giving Tuesday. This is an opportunity for us all to recover from Black Friday and Cyber Monday by celebrating giving and volunteering.
And it works, with Blackbaud reporting that last year donations in the UK went up 270% on the year before.
And it’s right that government leads by example, which is why I’m delighted that Cabinet Office is a founding partner.
Last year, as part of our support, the Prime Minister announced a grant to ITV’s Text Santa appeal to incentivise volunteering and giving, members of the Cabinet became Dementia Friends and I announced an extra £2 million towards our Endowment Match Challenge, which incentivised long-term giving.
It’s fantastic to be part of it again this year.
One of the great strengths of Giving Tuesday is to see civil society and the public and private sectors coming together to celebrate and encourage social action.
And in that spirit today I would like to ask each of you to consider how you too can support this movement.
Please encourage your constituents as well to take part and show why it is good to give.
Social action doesn’t just benefit the recipient, but also the person giving. Volunteers can gain new skills and experiences, and giving time and money is associated with higher well-being.
Giving Tuesday is already bigger than last year, with over 1,100 partners, from Morrisons to Save The Children and the National Gallery.
So please take a moment to consider how you too could add your voice and support to this inspirational movement. Thank you.
Find out how you can get involved in #GivingTuesday.