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Speech by Assistant Minister for Social Security, Deputy Malcolm Ferey, to the Association of Jersey Charities

28 February 2023

With such a wide range of charities, they are the fabric of community life and support our communities in so many ways. The last three years have been unprecedented. We have seen a global pandemic as well as economic pressures, Brexit and a land conflict in Europe that have all impacted our day-to-day lives.

We have also seen a number of tragic events here in Jersey which have shocked the community. Our community has shown resilience, as have the charities and funders who have provided vital services and support. In the backdrop we have also seen an increase in demand, as well as limited opportunities to fundraise. Charities, like everyone else, have had to face significant inflation at a time when donations have reduced.

However, we did see some amazing examples of partnership during the last three years, and I am committed to supporting where we can work collectively to maximise resources to continue to support our community. 

There is an opportunity to learn from these tragic events and reflect on how we support our community. Charities are able to react and be agile and we must ensure as we move forward that charities are seen in parity with Government Services.

There are a number of areas that I would like to champion. I would like to see more opportunities for commissioned services provided to the sector across all aspects of Government. I hope to be able to announce shortly a Community Transport scheme which will reduce costs and environmental impact. 

I know that the Association of Jersey Charities will be part of the review into the Channel Islands Lottery, which raises vital funds for the sector but does need to be reviewed and updated. I will continue ongoing dialogue with the Charities Commissioner. 

I am working behind the scenes to see if we can get emergency funds for charities in their hour of need, and I believe that we do need more alignment with funding bodies, with the Jersey Funders Group an excellent example of partnership working.

There are also a number of opportunities for the sector, such as looking at sharing services across HR and IT to reduce costs and focus resource on charities key objectives. Would having a shared space for charities, as they do in other sectors, reduce costs, increase flexibility and partnerships?

We have great examples of partnerships, but can we do more. I want to ensure the sector is front-and-centre in developing Government Policy and influencing legislation using your subject matter expertise and the voice of the community.

As I touched upon earlier, Jersey has seen a significant number of tragic events – the road to recovery will be long and for many painful. Charities who are at the centre of our community will also be the focal point of our recovery and healing process.

Finally, I am delighted to have the responsibility for the Charitable Sector, and I will listen and make sure your voice is heard within Government. 

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