Voluntary groups in Leicester have launched a frantic lobbying campaign after the city's council announced proposals to cut funding to the sector by nearly £9m over the next three years.
The cuts are intended to help Leicester City Council address a £10m budget shortfall. But while voluntary sector spending plummets, the council has committed an extra £4.5m for education and £2m for parks and open spaces over the next financial year.
Volunteering group Voluntary Action Leicester, which stands to lose £226,325 over the three years and would be forced to close its volunteer bureau if the cuts go ahead, is leading 88 other voluntary and community groups in the protest. Other groups affected include Leicester YMCA, The Alzheimer's Society, and Age Concern Leicester.
"We plan to take the matter to the Active Communities Directorate and get our MPs to ask questions in Parliament," said Kevan Lilen, chief executive at Voluntary Action Leicester. "At the moment we are pessimistic, as the council does not appear to want to listen," he added.
Leicester City Council will make a final decision on 16 February.