Francis Maude: It’s good to give on Giving Tuesday

Horsham MP Francis Maude

Horsham MP Francis Maude

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Next Tuesday, December 2, will be Giving Tuesday: the global day of giving which asks everyone to show the world why it’s good to give. Whether it’s making a donation, volunteering time or just spreading the word, it is a call to action for everyone who wants to give something back.

It’s easy to be cynical about the number of ‘days’ there are now, but it’s really just about reminding us all to focus particularly on the things which are dear to our own hearts. Wherever I go, I come across volunteers who are making a huge difference to those in need, and am constantly impressed by the generosity of our people with their time, efforts, ideas and money.

The campaign started in the United States in 2012 and now spans five continents. It follows ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’, two days famous for spikes in high-street and online spending, and encourages a shift to giving. Our UK campaign is being led by the Charities Aid Foundation, and I am delighted that Cabinet Office is a founding partner. The campaign is already backed by around 300 organisations, from large national companies to small local charities.

So Giving Tuesday represents a fantastic moment for us all to celebrate and encourage this culture of giving. Please consider what action you might take on Giving Tuesday to add your support and voice to the campaign.

If you’d like to be part of it but do not know yet what you would like to do, the campaign website - http://www.givingtuesday.org.uk/ - provides lots of ideas about how you could consider lending your support.

Talking of which: The People’s Health Trust has just launched Active Communities, a funding programme which may be of interest to you. The trust is an independent charity which funds local groups and charities with great ideas in order to create fairer places to grow, live, work and age.

They distribute funds raised by HealthWish through The Health Lottery, and are offering grants of between £5,000 and £50,000 for local projects. I continue to believe that decisions about better living places are best made at grassroots level, and see time and again the surprisingly good effects of very simple ideas and initiatives on local communities.

The deadline for applications is 1pm on Wednesday 24 December 2014, and the link is http://dmtrk.com/t/10CZ-2YCAS-BBBBAR8W86/cr.aspx.

Lastly just a quick update about Gatwick, the issue which continues to dominate my postbag. On Sunday, CAGNE handed me their submission to the DfT, which offers a detailed analysis of the effects of changing flight paths over Horsham and its surrounding villages. I have pledged to ensure that it reaches the Secretary of State for Transport.