Family Lives charity says funding cut might lead to reduced services and 80 job losses

The charity, whose services include a telephone helpline and online support, says Department for Education funding will fall by more than half to £475,000 in 2015/16

Family Lives
Family Lives

The national family support charity Family Lives has warned that it is reducing services and will have to shed up to 80 staff if it does not make up a shortfall in funding.

The charity has announced that it is facing cuts of more than 50 per cent to the funding for its national services, which include running a telephone helpline and online support.

The charity, which had an income of £4.2m in 2013/14 and has 230 staff, said that funding from the Department for Education would fall by more than half, from £990,000 in 2014/15 to £475,000 in 2015/16.

It said it needed to try to make up the £515,000 it had lost in order to meet the demand of the families that it supports.

Pamela Park, deputy chief executive of Family Lives, said the charity was carrying out a consultation with staff, but anticipated that there would be between 50 and 80 redundancies as a result of the funding cut.

The charity will from May reduce the hours its helpline covers – it is currently open 24 hours a day – to 9am to 9pm on weekdays and 10am to 3pm on weekends. It is also closing its live online chat service until alternative funding can be secured.

"Family Lives is a robust organisation and will survive this funding crisis," said Park. "We have a strong suite of services delivered in local areas across the country, and these services will continue. We have also worked hard to develop a viable delivery model that will allow us to continue running our helpline at the reduced level of funding."

She said it was regrettable to be closing the online chat service at a time when it was experienceing an increase in demand.

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