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Grassroots Grant Programme

Volume 504: debated on Wednesday 27 January 2010

12. What recent assessment she has made of the effects on local communities of her Department's grassroots grants programme. (313363)

The £130 million grassroots grants programme has already provided more than 13,000 grants to small charities and voluntary organisations, totalling more than £33 million. Those grants have enabled small groups across England to do what they think is best to meet the needs of their own communities. More than £13 million has been received in donations from businesses and individuals, which has been boosted by the Government’s provision of £25 million through match funding.

Does my right hon. Friend agree that voluntary organisations in receipt of that money are best placed to provide opportunities for young people to get employment through sport and training opportunities, and that that provides people with an excellent opportunity to participate in making their communities better?

I would commend my hon. Friend for the work that he has done in his constituency on this issue, working with the third sector and encouraging young people to volunteer and engage. He is absolutely right that the ability to volunteer seems to be a route into employment because of the skills and confidence that people gain through volunteering.