A quarter of charities in the North East say they might close within a year

Funding cuts take their toll on the region's charities as demand for their services increases

Tyne Bridge
Tyne Bridge

Almost a quarter of charities polled in north east England have said they might close in the next 12 months because of funding cuts.

Voluntary Organisations’ Network North East (Vonne) polled 120 organisations, ranging from small neighbourhood organisations to large charities, as part of its "Surviving Not Thriving" study on the downturn, conducted every six months since November 2009.

Twenty-three per cent of those that responded to the latest poll said they might close in the next 12 months. Almost half said they expect to close, or are considering closing, a service.

Seventy-three per cent of respondents said their funding had decreased over the past six months and 64 per cent said they were using reserves. Almost two-thirds reported a rise in demand for their services.

Jo Curry, chief executive of Vonne, said marginalised individuals would suffer as services were withdrawn and charities closed.

"At some point the government has to wise up and see that the bedrock of the big society is small localised organisations," she said.

Small amounts of money given to frontline organisations would have as great, if not a greater effect, than theywould if given to national charitable schemes, she said.

Vonne has sent the information from its report to all the MPs in the North East and to the Office for Civil Society.

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