Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society, has called on people to back small, local charities in their Christmas appeals this year.
Hurd and Kevin Curley, the chief executive of the local umbrella body Navca, visited the St Mary Abbots Rehabilitation and Training centre in central London yesterday to support its Christmas appeal. Smart helps people with long-term mental illness to gain new skills and find employment.
"Small charities often go unnoticed, which is a shame because they make such a huge difference," said Hurd. "We all have a responsibility to help make the places where we live a little better, and giving to a local charity is a great way to go about it."
Curley said local charities and community groups could not exist without the support of local people and businesses.
"Smart is a great example of just how much a local charity can do with a relatively small amount of money," he said. "I hope people will consider how they can support charities and community groups in their area, by giving either money or their time."