Depression and disability charities drop services

Indira Das-Gupta

Both the Depression Alliance and the Disability Alliance are being forced to cut back vital services because of a lack of funding.

Without immediate funding, the Depression Alliance, which is the UK's leading charity supporting people affected by depression, may even have to consider closure. Depression affects one in five people at some stage in their life and the organisation receives thousands of requests for help and information every year.

Alison Lawrence, chair of the board of trustees, said: "Depression Alliance is a vital organisation. It would be a travesty if it were to close down."

The Disability Alliance has also experienced funding problems and has had to stop its Rights Advice service. It will not be able to respond to benefits queries made by phone, email or letter.

Vanessa Davis, director of external services, said: "We have been trying unsuccessfully for two years now to get new funding, and have been using our reserves. The time has come for us to make tough decisions."

For a period of three months, the Disability Alliance will only be able to send an information pack to those who request advice.

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