New research published today shows the vital importance of charities as part of the social infrastructure needed to rebuild the parts of the country that are currently struggling.
The report by the thinktank New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) shows that charities are disproportionately concentrated in England’s most affluent areas, and meanwhile state funding has fallen most in areas of highest deprivation.
Too often those who talk about the regeneration of the North talk only in terms of transport, and usually then they are only really discussing intercity rail services. As someone who travels regularly across the North, I can personally attest that these services in dire need of improvement, however, we need to think much more widely in order to truly deliver the potential of the region.
Most people in the North don’t use intercity rail services on a daily basis. What they often need is access to stronger social infrastructure, community facilities, safe outdoor spaces, and opportunities for their children to thrive and learn. Charities could play a major role in delivering these solutions at a local level, but only if they are prepared to embrace real change in where and how they operate.
I’m proud that SHINE took the decision to relocate from London to Leeds to focus our programmes on the North of England. In a sector founded on vision and courage, it’s more important than ever we charities are willing and able to step up to the plate.
Fiona Spellman, CEO of SHINE