On 16 December the first Local Charities Day launches, set up to shine a spotlight on the work of small, local charities and community groups across the UK.\r\n\r\nThe new government initiative aims to help small charities thrive and demonstrate the work they do in their local areas.\r\n\r\nThree in four of us give to charity in an average month and it\u2019s estimated that in 2015 we gave around \u00a310 billion to charity. Small charities represent 97% of the charitable sector but they only account for around 20% of its income. Local Charities Day will highlight the brilliant work of local charities who add so much to the communities they support.\r\n\r\nThe Office for Civil Society is\u00a0contributing match funding to the #GiveMe5 campaign, which will run on Local Charities Day. The campaign will randomly match 1,000 x \u00a35 donations\u00a0and\u00a0give everyone the opportunity to get involved and support charities in their area.\r\nMinister for Civil Society Rob Wilson said:\r\n"Up and down the country there are people working tirelessly in local charities to improve the lives of those living in our communities. Their commitment and enthusiasm often goes unrecognised and I want us to change that.\r\n\r\n"Local Charities Day means we can say a collective thank you to these organisations and the unsung heroes whose work is helping to build a society for everyone."\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe government is showing wider support for small, local charities through initiatives including\u00a0putting small charities at the heart of public services, helping charities to secure and enhance their services through the Local Sustainability Fund and legislating to simplify the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme\r\n\r\nOn 16 December many will be showing their support for small, local charities and community groups near you in various ways such as posting on social media with the #LocalCharitiesDay hashtag and donating \u00a35 to a local charity through the #GiveMe5 campaign.\r\n\r\nSmall charities looking for advice can also sign up to free training sessions and webinars through the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) and GlobalGiving.\r\n\r\nFind our more about the work of small charities near you on the #LocalCharitiesDay blog.\r\n\r\nFind a charity in your area to support.