I was honoured to be granted an Honorary Membership and Special Recognition Award from Rotary of Braids this afternoon for my work in campaigning for Gift Aid to be claimed on bucket collections.
On 8th September 2010 Ian Murray, MP for Edinburgh South, asked the following question in the House of Commons : “Will the Deputy Prime Minister join me in paying tribute to the Rotary Club of Braids in my constituency, which has raised thousands of pounds for Shelterboxes to send to Pakistan and other areas that are devastated by events? Will he give a commitment that his government will consider altering the Gift Aid scheme to ensure that bucket collections can be included, so that the Club’s valuable work can go much further?”
The Deputy Prime Minister replied : “We will, of course, look at anything that will continue to encourage people to be as generous as they have been in responding to this truly horrific catastrophe. (Hansard Column 322 Q11)
Ian then followed this up with a series of letters to the Deputy PM and, as a result of his efforts and work which was undertaken by the Treasury’s Gift Aid Forum which represents Treasury Officials and representatives of the Charity sector, the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS) was announced in the 2011 budget. A bill was introduced in June 2012 and the scheme came into force in April 2013.
At a meeting to be held on 18th February 2015, the Rotary Club of Braids will present Ian with a Rotary Certificate in recognition of his contribution to the introduction of a scheme which is of such significance to the entire Charity sector. He is a regular attender at the Club and his help with further major fundraising initiatives such as the Philippines disaster will be recognised in inducting him as an Honorary Member.
The reason why Braids has chosen this moment to honour Ian is that it registered as a Charity on 23rd February 2012 and it will meet the 3 year criterion on 23rd February 2015 after which claims can be made.
It should be noted that the Rotary organisation adopts a neutral stance in matters of religion and party politics.
Kenneth Logan, President of Rotary Club of Braids said:
"Ian is involved in many local organisations and charities, however his contribution to the introduction of the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme is the most significant as it involves all charities. Treasury have highlighted that charities will benefit nationally by £100 million during the next financial year. For this reason Rotary Club of Braids is delighted to honour Ian Murray MP."
Ian Murray, Member of Parliament for Edinburgh South said:
“I’m thrilled to accept an Honorary Membership with the Rotary Club of Braids. The Club does a tremendous amount of charity work every year. One of my proudest achievements in parliament was being successful in persuading the Government to change the Gift Aid rules to help charities like Rotary do more with the donations they work so hard to get.”
Notes to Editors:
Rotary Club of Braids
Braids is a Rotary club and charity which delivers the aims and objectives of Rotary International – the biggest humanitarian organisation in the world – with over 1.2 million members sharing the common philosophy of “Service above Self”.
In Great Britain and Ireland there are 1850 clubs of which 9 are in Edinburgh.
Our members are men and women of all ages who are keen to utilise their skills and resources to help others less fortunate than themselves.
Braids members volunteer their time to raise funds to help those in need of financial support both at home and abroad. (Braids has raised £103,500 for charity since 2010.) Among others we have helped the Marie Curie Edinburgh Hospice, The Childrens Hospice association, Riding for the Disabled and The Headway Trust. Further afield we have provided 180 washable Mattresses for a hospital in Ukerewe, Tanzania and supported an orphanage in Mashimoni, Kenya.
Rotary engages the Local Community in presenting challenges to help with the development of young people. (School Quizzes, the provision of dictionaries, young musician, chef, golfer and photographer competitions and an annual award for Young Citizen of the Year.)
Rotary International has its own charity, the Rotary Foundation, which funds the improvement of health, the support of education and the alleviation of poverty throughout the world.
Rotary has for some years had the eradication of Polio as its top priority. Clubs in Great Britain and Ireland have donated over £20 million to polio immunisation initiatives. (matched pound for pound by the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation) 125 endemic countries have been reduced to just small parts of Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.
The Rotary club of Braids meets each Wednesday lunchtime at the Charwood Grill in Buckstone Terrace, EH10, where we have a comprehensive programme of speakers. We are a friendly and progressive club where the emphasis is on fellowship and enjoying what we do.
Find out more at www.braidsrotary.org.uk
Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme
The scheme allows registered Charities who have been claiming gift aid without problems for 3 years to claim under GASDS. Each year, claims for up to £5000 in small donations can be made without the requirement to have the donor sign a Gift Aid form. This will generate a repayment of £1250 to the Charity. The significance of GASDS is highlighted by the Treasury’s estimate that £100m will be generated for Charities by 2015/16.