Rory called for a new approach to charitable funding in a visit to members and staff of local charity
Eden Mencap Society at their base in Penrith’s Little Dockray last week.
Rory Stewart said: “I am very concerned at the way the government is increasingly biased towards large national charities and has designed procurement and measurement processes which ignore the strengths of
local charities and makes it very difficult for them to apply for grants. Eden Mencap are rightly proud of their local knowledge and passion. It enables them to best serve their members, and tailor their support in only a way that small, local charities can do. I have promised my support to Eden Mencap, and will be organising a round
table meeting of other smaller local charities to discuss the common challenges they face, particularly in dealing with national procurement exercises. The power of local expertise in the charity sector is invaluable, and we need to do all we can to support and grow excellent charities like this one. Jacqui and her staff are clearly
incredibly dedicated, placing every emphasis on the people they support. It was a real pleasure to see such a well-run charity.”
The local MP joined members having fun in the ‘Grow It, Bake It, You Do It’ area before holding a meeting with the charity’s managers to discuss their hopes and concerns for the future. Employing a staff of 23 – both part-time and full-time – the charity, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, serves the Eden Valley by supporting people with learning disabilities and enabling them to lead full and varied lives.