Simon Fell MP backs launch of report urging new support for charities

● Lake District MP Simon Fell and Omaze bring together charities and MPs in Parliament to mark the launch of a new think tank report

● Report explores the challenges facing the charity sector

Local Conservative MP for Barrow and Furness, Simon Fell, this week hosted an evening in Parliament to mark the launch of a report by a cross-party think-tank, Social Market Foundation (SMF), supported by Omaze, on the state of the UK charitable sector and the challenges they are facing.
The report, Giving Back: How to foster a stronger and more resilient charity sector, found that charitable giving in the UK is set to decline by as much as £279 million over the next year – with the cost of living crisis cited as the main reason behind the drop in donations.

Among a number of recommendations to address the decline, the SMF found bureaucracy is often as significant an issue as funding among charity leaders. They found that smaller charities especially can struggle to keep up with the cost and administrative challenge of handling complex tax, accounting and
data protection rules. It also recommended better sharing of best practice across the sector, ensuring that innovative new ways of fundraising and managing charities are adopted by the entire industry.

Simon Fell MP became involved in the event after working with Omaze late last year when it held a prize draw for a £2.5m house in the Lake District. The draw saw £850k raised for the Dogs Trust and Omaze also asked Simon to help them find a community-based charity that supports local people.
Having worked with them closely, Simon nominated Cumbrian charity The Well – an addiction based charity helping people who suffer with alcohol and drug abuse. Omaze donated a sum of £25,000 and the money has been used to purchase a minibus to support their service users and the wider community.
The report was launched on Monday evening and brought together representatives from some of the biggest charities in the UK. These included the British Heart Foundation, RSPCA, and Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity, with Director of Fundraising, Liz Tait, speaking at the event about the charity’s
upcoming work and how Omaze’s £500,000 supported them.

Simon is a proud supporter of The Well and the valuable work they do across Cumbria. He said:

“It was great to host Omaze in Parliament on Monday. I’m incredibly grateful to them for agreeing to contribute funding from one of their prize draws to support The Well to the tune of £25,000.
The Well are a remarkable group – helping people struggling with addiction, and providing them with love and a community to call home while they rebuild their lives.

Thanks to Omaze, a few months after first approaching me, The Well was presented with a cheque for £25,000 – enabling them to buy a minibus to support their service users and the wider community, and to help provide even more services.”

Ged, a representative from The Well came to Parliament to celebrate with other charity recipients – it was fantastic to have him there. My thanks to Ged, Dave and everyone at The Well for what they do, and to Omaze for their funding of them.”

James Oakes, Chief International Officer at Omaze, said:

“We are hugely grateful to Simon Fell for hosting us in Parliament, alongside representatives from fantastic UK charities, to hear more about the looming problems for third sector fundraising and how the Government can introduce innovative solutions to mitigate these challenges.
It was great to catch up with Ged and see so many of our charity partners. We are proud that our draws support the invaluable work of charities across the country by raising not only funding, but also awareness. So far we have helped our charity partners reach audiences they wouldn’t usually reach – at zero risk or cost to them.”



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