Communities: Charities and Volunteers

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:05 pm on 13th February 2019.

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Photo of Martin Docherty Martin Docherty Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Industries of the Future and Blockchain Technologies) 5:05 pm, 13th February 2019

I am delighted to follow Derek Thomas, who detailed some of the work that is going on in his community. Let me make a non-pecuniary declaration of interest: I was the national policy adviser for Volunteer Scotland, the national body for volunteering, before I came to this House. I have also worked for West Dunbartonshire Community and Volunteering Services—Members will know it as a CVS and volunteer centre—for over a decade.

I thank the Government for bringing forward this general debate today. I am sure that there are those in the Chamber who have been seeking such a debate for quite a long time. I commend the work of the all-party parliamentary group on charities and volunteering of which I am a member. I see the redoubtable chair, Susan Elan Jones, in their place. I do hope that, when they sum up, both Front-Bench speakers will pay tribute to the work both of that all-party group and of the chair who has been a doughty campaigner since coming to this House.

Although much of the policy framework for charities and volunteering is fully devolved to the Parliament of Scotland, there is a range of overlaps that needs to be highlighted so that Members can be aware of the distinct nature of charities in Scotland, the number of which, according to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, now stands at 24,466 in total.