Region’s charities get £3.6m aid

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Charities across Yorkshire are to benefit from a £3.6m injection of Government funding.

Senior figures in the voluntary sector said the money would help organisations trying to survive on shrinking contributions from councils.

“Support charities” will be given the cash to work with groups who need help in areas such as setting up a new charity, attracting volunteers or running a community building.

The funding announcement was welcomed yesterday by Involve Yorkshire & Humber, the support agency for the region’s voluntary sector.

Chief executive Judy Robinson said: “It’s good to see such a significant investment in the region.

“Support charities are the behind-the-scenes heroes of the voluntary sector – without them many great projects would never have got off the ground.”

Research by Involve has found that Yorkshire’s support charities help more than 3,000 organisations each year, benefiting almost 20,000 people.

The voluntary and community sector contributes £2.75bn a year to the Yorkshire economy, employs 72,700 staff and involves 66,000 trustees. Across the region, 300,000 volunteers give up a total of 25 million hours each year.

“This is very welcome support,” Ms Robinson said. “Charities in this region particularly are suffering continued reductions in their funding because local councils, who help to support them, have been hit so hard by Government spending reductions.

“But we are concerned that not all areas have got the grants and we’d like to hear what will happen to support those areas.”

Grants have been allocated to organisations in 10 council areas – Barnsley, East Riding, Hull, Leeds, North East Lincolnshire, Rotherham, North Yorkshire, Sheffield, Wakefield and York.

The Sheffield award will give momentum to a campaign called Sheffield Gives, which is aimed at generating more money, time and expert help for local activities.

The chief executive of York Council for Voluntary Service, Angela Harrison, said many charities faced tough times.

“This new funding will pay for groups to explore different ways of generating income, make links with local businesses and take part in leadership programmes to support chairs and chief officers to run their organisations in the face of difficult economic times.”