t: 01423 529614 e: andrew.jones.mp@parliament.uk
Andrew Jones Member of Parliament for Harrogate & Knaresborough

Andrew Jones MP

Member of Parliament for Harrogate & Knaresborough

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alzheimers-mobile-logoLast Saturday I started the third Harrogate Memory Walk alongside Alison Wrigglesworth of the Harrogate and Ripon Alzheimer’s Society and Councillor Richard Cooper, the Leader of Harrogate Borough Council.

Memory Walks are the Alzheimer’s Society’s principal fundraisers and occur right across the country.  Over a hundred people came to walk in Harrogate’s beautiful Valley Gardens accompanied by music from Becky Bowe.  Becky, from Knaresborough, won the BBC’s Pitch Battle contest and wowed everyone with her performance.

There is still time to donate to the Memory Walk.  You can do so at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hgtmemorywalk2017.

The Memory Walks are poignant as people walk to remember loved ones or to raise money to support those living with this disease.  The event too though is always positive and uplifting.  A great coming together of people who share the same experiences and have a common goal.  It is a great privilege to help organise and take part in such an event.

And what the Alzheimer’s Society do is a good demonstration of what goes on across Harrogate, Knaresborough and Boroughbridge day in day out.  That is people giving of their time and bringing the community together to raise funds or raise the profile of local charities and good causes.

There are hundreds of charities across our area. Collectively they raise millions of pounds.  Those funds come from a variety of sources such as individuals, businesses and local councils.  Without the activities of those charities our lives would be so much poorer.  Whether it is raising money for a sports club, for hospice care or for the homeless there are few aspects of our community untouched by charitable activities.

Government needs to do what it can to support charities.  Part of my portfolio as a Treasury Minister includes charities, the voluntary sector and gift aid.  That is why I want to hear from local charities about what more we can do to help.  Already charities generally pay no tax on income raised for charitable activities.  Through gift aid they can claim back tax deducted from donations and bank interest.  Charities get an 80 per cent deduction on business rates for non-domestic buildings.

But my work as a constituency MP over the past seven years has taught me that we should never stop looking at ways of doing things better.  In the case of charities I want to maximise the value of every pound of charitable giving, to maximise the effect of every hour of volunteering and to encourage more charitable giving and more volunteering.

And, although over my years as an MP, and previously, I have supported charities and helped highlight the many causes they promote I think I can do more.

So I want to hear what charities are doing locally – the impact they are having.  And I will be highlighting this on my website and in my regular emails to constituents.  I want to hear what businesses are doing to support charities.  I know that many businesses do an enormous amount for charities; the Memory Walk was support by Harrogate Spa Water and Specsavers.  But there are many other examples where businesses help raise funds, provide equipment or supply expertise from their staff.

So I want to know what your charity is doing, what more Government can do to help and what your business is doing to support local charities.  You can email me at andrew.jones.mp@parliament.uk.   I will do what I can to promote and recognise all that activity and energy in our community.

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