Mentoring and Befriending Foundation to close

Its core services, which include an approved provider standard for mentoring and befriending projects, will be transferred to the NCVO

Mentoring and Befriending Foundation
Mentoring and Befriending Foundation

- This story was corrected on 3 March 2015; please see final paragraph

The Mentoring and Befriending Foundation, which supports charities that provide mentoring and befriending services, is to close.

MBF’s core services, which include an approved provider standard for mentoring and befriending projects and a national training programme on developing good practice, will be transferred along with three of its seven staff to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations by the end of this month. The others will be facing redundancy.

Steve Matthews, chief executive of the MBF, said: "We have had contracts and grants in the past few years but we were trying to build up our core services months ago, because there wasn’t enough grant income to sustain all of our services any more."

In 2011, the MBF was told it would no longer receive the £1.1m a year in funding it was receiving from the Cabinet Office under the department’s strategic partners programme, which represented half of the charity’s income.

Its income fell from £2.1m in 2009/10 to £329,252 two years later, before recovering to £880,843 in the year to the end of March 2014. It spent £939,843 in 2013/14.

Matthews said that MBF started to look at sustainable partners last year.

The charity, which is based in Manchester, will move from its leased offices to new ones provided by the Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation where it will continue to provide its core services under the banner of the NCVO.

MBF’s branding and the website will continue, at least in the short term. 

The charity will hand any remaining reserves to the NCVO when it closes.

- The story originally said that all seven jobs would be lost, and that the operation in Manchester would close in a few months' time once its remaining service contracts ended.

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