At this time of year most of us tie up loose ends at work and head back home to be with our families. But there are many who would have little to look forward to if it were not for the tireless work of charities, voluntary groups, social enterprises and all the other groups that make up this vibrant movement we call the third sector.
I have met many of you since I became Minister for the Third Sector and have seen first hand the real power you have to change things for the better. Just take a look back over the year and think of your achievements, how many lives saved or made better? How many attitudes changed? You leave the world a better place at the end of 2008. Be sure of this and be ready to take even greater strides in 2009.
Of course, many of you will be concerned about the recession. The year ahead will not be easy. I know that already funding is coming under greater pressure and more people are relying on your help. But I can assure you that the Government will support you through the tough times. I wouldn’t try and fool you that I can end all the problems you will face but I hope that by working together we can ensure that the people who benefit so much from your efforts don’t lose out.
Over the coming year I will keep listening to your concerns, I will fight your corner within government, deliver my existing commitments to you and look for new ways I can help your organisations to thrive. But for now I thank all of you who have helped me over recent months to prepare an Action Plan to help the third sector through the recession which I will publish shortly. Moreover, and I thank you all for your wonderful achievements.
Kevin Brennan, Minister for the Third Sector