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Furness MP launches law that will help local charities secure better funding

Simon Fell MP in Westminster

Simon Fell, Member of Parliament for Barrow and Furness, has today unveiled his choice of Private Members Bill.

Having received almost 100 submissions from local residents on topics as diverse as global warming, local bus services provision, and changing the law on criminal convictions, Simon has decided to support a cause that would directly benefit a number of charities and volunteer groups in Barrow & Furness directly.

Speaking from Westminster, Simon said: “The joy of being a candidate and an MP is that you get to meet fantastic, volunteer-led, organisations day in, day out.

“They do huge amounts of good for our community, but often live hand-to-mouth, struggling from one funding application to the next.

“This Bill would help them get past that hurdle – providing an accredited team of officials from across government who will be able to drop in and measure the impact of the work that organisations like these do, so that future funding is easier to secure.

“For organisations like The Well, Citizen’s Advice, the Salvation Army, the Barrow and District Credit Union, this would  give them more time to focus on what they’re really good at – supporting our community in Barrow & Furness.

“I also hope that, long term, organisations like these would be better placed to bid for funding from central government as a result, putting them on even more stable footing.”

Simon presents his Bill – the Third Sector Organisations (Impact and Support) Bill – on Wednesday in Parliament.

Third Sector Organisations (Impact and Support) Bill

Bill to establish a body to assess the benefits and effectiveness of third sector organisations and provide support to such organisations; and for connected purposes.

This Bill has been designed after meeting with a number of volunteer-led organisations in Barrow and Furness and seeing just how valuable they are to the local community and local people.

Time and again, these organisations demonstrate how they offer remarkable levels of support to people and, as a consequence, lessen the strain on stretched public services.

In spite of that, these organisations struggle to measure the impact of their work, in terms of their community benefit, to individuals, and to the public services whom they save time, resource and money.

As a result, such organisations often live hand-to-mouth, struggling to obtain funding, despite a clear benefit being derived from their operation.

If passed, the Third Sector Organisations (Impact and Support) Bill would create a new body which would allow third-sector organisations to request support to:

  • measure the impact of the services they offer;
  • supply best practice case studies to a central hub, and
  • pull best practice from that same central hub.

In effect, this would have a number of positive outcomes for such organisations:

  • future funding applications would be simplified as there would be a clear and demonstrable link between previous funding, delivery, and impact of services offered.
  • third sector organisations would be able to learn from each other and refine their services to better support their clients.
  • third sector organisations will be better placed, and supported, to make applications for central government funding given the demonstrable impact of the work they do.

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