Can you name a Hertfordshire charity?

MORE than two-thirds of Hertfordshire residents interviewed could not name a local charity, a survey by a Letchworth GC-based research company has revealed.

The study asked 151 people across six Hertfordshire town centres, including Stevenage and Letchworth GC, whether they could name a charity local to the county unprompted and found 69 per cent were unable to do so.

When interviewees were shown a list of charities, 91 per cent were able to identify at least one Hertfordshire charity.

ActionPoint Marketing Solutions’ preliminary findings, which comes before they launch a ‘charity monitor’ next year, also showed that fewer than 10 per cent of residents had donated �20 or more to a local charity in the past year, compared with 33 per cent who had made donations to national charities.

One in five residents interviewed volunteer their time for a charity and 86 per cent believe that corporate giving is now an important source of income for charities which should be encouraged.

Overall, 93 per cent of those who made a donation to charities in the 12 months preceding the research, which was carried out during August, are giving either the same as, or more than, the same period a year ago.

Responding to the findings, Jenny Lupton, general manager of Garden House Hospice, said: “We obviously do not have the resources to spend on the large-scale media campaigns that are undertaken by the national charities, therefore the fact that people are more aware of the large charities is of no surprise.

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“However we do need to raise in excess of �1m each year to keep the hospice services available for the people of North Hertfordshire and Stevenage.

“We are therefore very dependant on the local media, such as The Comet, and of course those who have had experience of the hospice services, letting others know how essential donations and volunteering time is to us.”

Jane Shann, director of Stevenage-based The Phoenix Group for Deaf Children which operates across Hertfordshire, said: “Local charities just don’t have the staff to do awareness campaigns – we’re busy doing what we set up to achieve, what our real mission is!

“Budget, time, resources, staff and skills all provide potential barriers in raising awareness of what local providers do. Right down to printing costs of leaflets and people to distribute them.”

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