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Government to give almost £1m to three Christmas charity appeals

Civil society minister Nick Hurd pledges match funding for 'innovative' initiatives

Civil society minister Nick Hurd
Civil society minister Nick Hurd

Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society, has pledged almost £1m of government funding to support three Christmas charity appeals.

A statement from the Cabinet Office said the money, which will be given out in match funding, came from government savings in administration costs and overheads. It said the government was supporting the appeals because they offered new models of giving and "made it easier and more compelling for people to give".

The three initiatives chosen to receive a share of the funding are ITV’s Text Santa campaign, a text message appeal that will raise funds for six charities; Street Smart, which asks restaurant customers to add £1 to their bill to support local charities that help homeless people; and the website localgiving.com, which allows people to make donations to small charities in their area.

The Cabinet Office statement said the government would donate £250,000 in match funding to Text Santa if the public donate that amount. It will also match up to £220,000 of money raised through Street Smart and will donate £500,000 to localgiving.com in match funding.

The groups that will receive one sixth of money raised by Text Santa are WRVS, Help the Hospices, Crisis, Carers UK, Samaritans and a group of four charities raising money for children’s hospitals.

Hurd said people had always given generously to help children, the elderly and the homeless at Christmas.

"The government is determined to do its bit too and that’s why we have worked hard to reduce administration costs and cut back on expensive advertising campaigns so that we can redistribute more money to those who need it," he said. "This Christmas we are pledging cash to innovative charity appeals so that we can help support the vulnerable over the festive period."

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