Compact in action: St John's Housing Trust and Suffolk County Council

The Compact helped to secure £5,000 for the charity after it was told funding was to end.

The problem

St John's Housing Trust, a small housing charity in the Suffolk coastal town of Lowestoft, employs a buddy scheme worker, who helps people who previously used the charity's services to continue living independently. The buddy supports 10 people.

Suffolk County Council has funded the position since 2002, but in December it announced that funding for the post would end in three months.

The action

The decision was taken without consultation and therefore breached the Suffolk Compact's funding code, which says that public sector agencies will "recognise the need for fairness, equality of access, consistency, diversity and transparency".

The trust contacted the Compact advocacy team of NCVO, the umbrella body, which wrote to the council in March highlighting the breach. The charity was particularly irked because it had been obliged to send the council quarterly reports on the buddy worker and never got any feedback. It also frequently had to chase the council for funding.

"If you don't give feedback for three years, delay payment and then say, out of the blue, 'we are going to stop funding', it doesn't look like very good partnership working," says Paul Cornell, operations manager at St John's.

The outcome

The charity negotiated an extra three months' funding of its own accord, but when the NCVO got involved the council acknowledged its Compact error. It maintained, however, that it no longer wanted to fund the post and offered a one-off payment of £5,000. The charity is considering whether to accept the offer or to push for more money.

Cornell says: "The Compact helped to secure £5,000, and that's not to be sniffed at, but the scheme supports 10 clients and costs £17,500 a year."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +

Latest Jobs

RSS Feed

Third Sector Insight

Sponsored webcasts, surveys and expert reports from Third Sector partners

Markel

Expert Hub

Insurance advice from Markel

Cyber and data security - how prepared is your charity?

With a 35 per cent rise in instances of data breaches in Q2 and Q3 last year, charities must take cyber security seriously

Third Sector Logo

Get our bulletins. Read more articles. Join a growing community of Third Sector professionals

Register now