North-east charities foresee year of struggle

Region predicts job losses, closures and falling income amid rising demand for services

A quarter of voluntary sector organisations in north-east England predict they will make staff redundant over the next year as part of "widespread job losses and charity closures", according to the regional umbrella body.

A survey by regional infrastructure body Voluntary Organisations' Network North East for its Surviving Not Thriving report, published today, paints a bleak picture.

More than half of the 130 organisations that responded to the survey said income had fallen since the recession began and 55 per cent said they expected further decreases in the coming year.

Half of those polled said they expected demand for their services to rise over the coming year and a third said they were already struggling to cope.

Jo Curry, chief executive of Vonne, said the results of the survey were "just the tip of the iceberg".

She said: "Over the next year, we are expecting widespread job losses and closures of charities and groups as the effects of the recession deepen."

Curry called for policymakers in the region to increase funding to charities that experience high levels of demand as a result of the recession.

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