A new report has been published this week by the House of Lords Select Committee on Charities, titled Stronger Charities for a Stronger Society, celebrating the role of the charity sector. The report praises charities for being the "eyes, ears and conscience of society", through both mobilising and inspiring people and providing advocacy and relief to those in need.
The report also stresses that all charities must be able to flourish within the environment they navigate. The Committee heard concerns from charities over a decline in public grants and a Government move toward large-scale contracts, which place small and medium charities in competition with larger charities for funding. Charites also showed concern over how funding regulation may restrict the scope of advocacy work.
Chairman of the Committee, Baroness Pitkeathley, said: "Charities are the lifeblood of society. They play a fundamental role in our civil life and do so despite facing a multitude of challenges. Yet for them to continue to flourish, it is clear that they must be supported and promoted."
"We found that charities lead the way with innovation, but that this is at risk of being stifled by the 'contract culture'. And while advocacy is a sign of a healthy democracy, and is a central part of charities' role, this role has been threatened by Government."
Dr Phil McCarthy, Chief Executive of Caritas Social Action Network, said: "The Select Committee's report is a testament to the vital role that the charity sector plays within society. Caritas Social Action Network includes small and medium Catholic organisations from across England and Wales. Our members uphold the human dignity of each person by meeting, and advocating for, the needs of those on the margins of society. It is important that the Government values such work and promotes its sustainability."
Read the report here: www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201617/ldselect/ldchar/133/133.pdf