Up to twenty Home-Start charities expected to close

Another 12 face redundancies as uncertainty looms over future funding

Kay Bews, chief executive of Home-Start UK
Kay Bews, chief executive of Home-Start UK

Up to 20 Home-Start charities are expected to close and another 12 are likely to make redundancies because of local government funding cuts.

Home-Start UK, the umbrella body for 334 independent Home-Start charities, which provide family support, said a further 40 organisations faced "a very uncertain financial future".

Home-Start UK said it was unable to provide precise figures on how much funding could be lost, but £23m of the £33m of funding that goes to individual Home-Starts comes from local authorities and much of this was at risk.

Kay Bews, chief executive of Home-Start UK, said the situation was changing daily for many organisations, which did not know whether they would receive any further funding after councils finished setting their budgets in March.

"The timescale of the cuts is the real problem," said Bews. "If we were given more time, we could find alternatives and adjust. But charities are often receiving only a few weeks notice.

"There are, however, a few glimmers of hope as local authorities readjust and provide more interim funding."

In Devon, she said, the county council had withdrawn its grant, worth about 50 per cent of the total funding of the county’s seven Home-Start centres.

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