50 charities mentioned most in Parliament

I thought it would be interesting to look at how much of a presence different charities have in Parliament.

This is difficult to measure meaningfully, as communicating with MPs and Peers is about much more than what happens in public debates. And some Parliamentarians are more influential than others.

But I do think that looking at the number of times charities are mentioned in Parliament does give a useful finger in the air indicator of how they are engaging with Parliamentarians.

So I used Hansard to look at how many times some of the biggest fundraising charities were mentioned in either the House of Commons or the House of Lords during 2016.

I think the results are interesting, and I have listed below the 50 charities mentioned most often.

The first thing that stands out to me – and I wouldn’t necessarily have expected – is how often children’s charities are mentioned in Parliament. Save the Children and Unicef are the two mentioned most often, and five of the eight charities with the most mentions are focused on children.

save the children unicef parliament
Save the Children and Unicef recreate a bombed classroom at Westminster to get their message across to MPs

I am also surprised that health charities do not feature more prominently in the top 20.

But perhaps the biggest message from the list below is that you don’t have to be a big charity to have a strong presence in Parliament.

There are some relatively small charities that are mentioned a lot and, conversely, some big ones I am surprised aren’t mentioned more.

Charity Number of Parliamentary mentions
1 Save the Children 134
2 Unicef UK 119
3 Amnesty International 108
4 Children’s Society 92
5 Royal British Legion 87
6 NSPCC 81
7 Oxfam 78
8 Barnardo’s 61
9 Age UK 57
10 Cancer Research UK 52
11 Salvation Army 51
12 British Red Cross 46
13 Stonewall 42
14 MSF UK 39
15 Christian Aid 35
16 National Trust 34
17 Macmillan Cancer Support 30
18 Alzheimer’s Society 28
19 ActionAid UK 27
20 Marie Curie 26
21 Diabetes UK 24
22 Dog’s Trust 23
22 Woodland Trust 23
24 Battersea Dogs and Cats 22
24 Leonard Cheshire 22
26 Parkinson’s UK 21
27 RSPB 20
27 Help for Heroes 20
29 British Heart Foundation 18
30 Samaritan’s 16
30 Prince’s Trust 16
30 Blue Cross 16
33 Arthritis Research UK 13
34 CLIC Sargent 12
35 Anthony Nolan 11
35 Terrence Higgins 11
37 Comic Relief 10
37 Action for Children 10
37 Teenage Cancer Trust 10
40 Rethink mental illness 9
40 Wateraid 9
42 RNIB 8
42 MS Society 8
44 WWF 7
44 CAFOD 7
46 Guide Dogs UK 6
46 Bloodwise 6
48 RNLI 5
48 Breast Cancer Now 5
48 VSO 5

These results should just be seen as an indicator, as they were arrived at using an online search of Hansard. Some charity mentions may have been missed because an abbreviation was used. Equally, there may have been occasions where the name of a charity was used but not as a reference to that charity. In some cases where charity names come up a lot in speeches (Mind, Crisis, and Shelter, for example), the charities were not included in the analysis.

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