By Marcus Leach
Charities across England have been awarded a total of £81 million in the third wave of payouts from the £107 million Transition Fund to help them prepare for new Big Society opportunities, Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society announced on Monday.
To date, more than 900 charities have received support from the Transition Fund which is aimed at those most vulnerable to reductions in public spending.
harities like Beatbullying, which has helped countless children and young people deeply affected by bullying, and ICENI, which treats and tackles addiction in Ipswich and Suffolk, are using the money to modernise.
This will help them make the most of more opportunities to deliver public services and new sources of finance, such as capital investment from the Big Society Bank, which the Government is developing as part of its drive to support a Big Society.
Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said:
"We all want a bigger, stronger society where people get involved and do their bit. This isn't new — there are already loads of people right across Britain taking responsibility and making our communities better places to live. What is new is that this Government is making it easier for people to do more: giving people power to improve public service, putting communities in control, and supporting people to help others."
Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, said:
"The Transition Fund is part of a much wider package of support for charities, voluntary groups and social enterprises. The Cabinet Office will invest around £470million in direct support over four years. We are opening up new opportunities for charities to deliver public services, cutting red tape and developing new sources of finance such as the Big Society Bank.
"However, the scale of the economic challenges we face as a country mean that charities are facing tough times. All the charities receiving transition funds have a plan to overcome current challenges and emerge stronger. We recognise the hugely important contribution charities make to our society and we are committed to supporting them."
Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the Big Lottery Fund said:
"The Transition Fund money continues to make a big difference to voluntary and community groups across England. The grants announced today will support even more organisations in their planning for the future, helping them better adapt to a fast changing environment.
The Transition Fund was announced in the Spending Review, October 2010. The Fund closed to applications on 21 January 2011. £97.5million has now been committed, final awards will be announced later this summer."