Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

UK Small Charities: Funding

Oral Answers to Questions — International Development – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 23rd May 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Henry Smith Henry Smith Conservative, Crawley 12:00 am, 23rd May 2018

What steps she is taking to help small UK charities access funding from her Department.

Photo of Penny Mordaunt Penny Mordaunt The Secretary of State for International Development, Minister for Women and Equalities

DFID’s small charities challenge fund was launched last summer to support small UK-based charities working in international development. The first round of grants will be announced shortly and the second review of applications is under way. We are also looking to improve the scheme.

Photo of Henry Smith Henry Smith Conservative, Crawley

Crawley-based Vision Aid Overseas does really effective work in Africa, helping to provide sight health to some of the world’s poorest. Will the Secretary of State endorse such work and congratulate those local UK-based charities, which can make a real difference?

Photo of Penny Mordaunt Penny Mordaunt The Secretary of State for International Development, Minister for Women and Equalities

I thank my hon. Friend for the opportunity to praise the work of Vision Aid Overseas. It is absolutely right that we want to connect more of these small, fantastic UK charities with the developing world. The “GREAT for Partnership” initiative will help us to do that.

Photo of Gregory Campbell Gregory Campbell Shadow DUP Spokesperson (International Development), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

What steps is the Secretary of State taking to ensure that small charities can avail themselves of the fund with a minimum of bureaucracy to maximise the benefit to the countries they operate in?

Photo of Penny Mordaunt Penny Mordaunt The Secretary of State for International Development, Minister for Women and Equalities

I absolutely agree with the issues the hon. Gentleman raises. We are learning from the first wave of applications to the small charities fund. I would like to make it less bureaucratic, more nimble and open to even smaller organisations.

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Commons Reference Group on Representation and Inclusion Committee

Far be it from me to intrude, but I thought that Huw Merriman had an interest in a charity appertaining to soccer. As we might not reach his question, he could take the opportunity to intervene with a flying tackle now.

Photo of Huw Merriman Huw Merriman Conservative, Bexhill and Battle

It is funny you should say that, Mr Speaker, because next month a group of largely unfit, slightly overweight wannabe celebrity footballers will be playing in the cause of Soccer Aid. I refer of course to the parliamentary football team. You would be most welcome, Mr Speaker, to don your Arsenal kit and join us, and show us how it’s done. On a serious note, I have seen the great work this money does in Djibouti in Africa. It changes people’s lives, including those of very young people. Will the Secretary of State join me in supporting everyone who gets involved with and donates to Soccer Aid for UNICEF?

Photo of Penny Mordaunt Penny Mordaunt The Secretary of State for International Development, Minister for Women and Equalities

I thank both you, Mr Speaker, and my hon. Friend for plugging Soccer Aid. Every pound raised by the British public will be matched by UK aid. You and he might also like to know that today Arsenal announced a three-year partnership with Rwanda.

Photo of Julie Cooper Julie Cooper Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care) (Community Health)

Will the Secretary of State join me in paying tribute to the Burnley-based charity Furniture for Education Worldwide, which will next week send its 100th container of furniture and equipment to aid developing schools overseas?

Photo of Penny Mordaunt Penny Mordaunt The Secretary of State for International Development, Minister for Women and Equalities

I thank the hon. Lady for raising that. I will indeed endorse that fantastic organisation. It is a testament to the fact that we have small companies and charities in our constituencies that can make a big difference to many people across the world.