Half of Newcastle charities expect to reduce or close services in the next year, survey finds

Newcastle Council for Voluntary Service and Vonne say research is part of campaign to persuade the local council to support the sector

Half of Newcastle charities to close or reduce services
Half of Newcastle charities to close or reduce services

- This story has been corrected: please see final paragraph

Almost half of charities in Newcastle expect to close a service or reduce the number of people they support in the next year, according to a survey that forms part of a campaign to increase support for the city’s voluntary sector.

The snapshot survey, published by Newcastle Council for Voluntary Service and Vonne, the regional network for voluntary organisations in the north east of England, is based on responses from 53 charities in the area.

It shows 30 of the charities have used their reserves in the past six months, 23 expect to reduce the number of beneficiaries they support in the next year and 22 expect to close services in the next year.

Sally Young, chief executive of Newcastle CVS, said: "We are trying to take the temperature of the sector. The findings fit with our own experience of the situation charities are in."

Young said the figures would be used to support a campaign by the CVS to win more support for the voluntary sector.

"We want Newcastle City Council to invest in the sector differently," she said. "This includes a shift away from contracts, introducing more grants and looking more closely at outcomes. We are also asking the council to introduce more social value clauses in its contracts."

She said she would be discussing the recommendations at a meeting with the council in March, and hoped they could be introduced alongside its 2012/13 budget.

The council’s overall budget will fall from £44m in 2011/12 to £30m in 2012/13 and Young said she feared local charities would bear the brunt of the cuts.

- The council's overall budget fell by £44m in 2011/12 and by a further £30m in 2012/13.

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