The English come last in charity table

12th November 2009

Civil Liberty correspondent

Unlikely to be collecting for the English
Unlikely to be collecting for the English
Finnish people living in England and Wales have 11 charitable organisations which work exclusively for the benefit and interest of the Finnish people. The Chinese have 164 such charitable organisations, the Somalis have an incredible 215 despite, in addition there are "about 1200" Jewish charities but at the bottom of the table are the English who (at present) make up the vast majority of the population of England and Wales and have just 1 (yes one!) called The Steadfast Trust working on behalf of English people and their interests in an increasingly fragmented and divided society.

On the 8th October a supporter of the Steadfast Trust made a Freedom of Information request to the Charity Commission asking how many charities, like the Steadfast Trust, specified one of their beneficiary category codes as being..."for people of a particular ethnic or racial origin"

Due to a fortunate coincidence the Commission was already conducting research in this area and provided a table of the interim results.

The Charity Commission has approximately 159,600 registered charities, although it should be noted that this figure is fairly volatile due to the registration of excepted charities and removal of inactive charities.

Around 15,500 charities have ticked the code ‘for people of a particular ethnic or racial origin’, however many are excluded from the research since they only operate abroad. There are about 6,860 charities identified that operate within the nations of England and Wales.

The top ten most charity represented ethnic / racial origin groups (based on the number of charities) is as follows...

Jewish about 1200
African 673
Bangladeshi / Bengali 417
Asian 331
Somali 215
India 209
Caribbean 198
Chinese 164
Black 144*
Pakistani 92

*the EHRC have been informed of this category term (i.e. Black) due to the concern that it may violate the Race Relations Act 1976, which is believed to prohibit the use of skin-colour as a means of distinguishing beneficiaries.

The purpose of charities is to work for the benefit and interests of their target group. As the full table shows, the English are not even listed (meaning that there are under ‘10’ throughout England and Wales), which indicates that they are not ethnically well represented on a specific basis. This is both surprising and unfortunate since it implies that the largest ethnic group is disenfranchised and potentially neglected.

It is hoped that the Steadfast Trust (as the only known charity for the English people of England) can address this balance in a small way. Steadfast Trust Trustee, Lynn Chorley says:

"It is a sad truth that a few, very few in number, have raised concerns that our charity may be discriminative. Of course this is not the case; in fact the discrimination comes about where only the majority ethnic group of England isn’t allowed a charity for its own people, resulting in us being massively under-represented.
We believe that our work at offering a vital sense of cultural identity, through education and activities will have a positive impact on society as a whole, and we welcome all the support that has been given."

The above report can be found on the Steadfast Trust site.


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