Disappointing and disheartening - cuts to voluntary groups

Labour parliamentary candidate Marilyn Livingstone claims the Cottage Family Centre is looking at making redundancies and removing support for families if more funding isn't found.
Labour parliamentary candidate Marilyn Livingstone claims the Cottage Family Centre is looking at making redundancies and removing support for families if more funding isn't found.
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TWO local voluntary organisations have expressed their disappointment at having their Council funding slashed.

Fife Gingerbread and Home-start Kirkcaldy and Lochgelly are among 10 organisations in the Kingdom which will get reduced grants for the new financial year.

The move was recently approved by members of the Council’s social work and health committee.

Fife Gingerbread which offers support and advice to lone families, faces a cut of £10,000, almost 10 per cent.

Manager Rhona Cunningham, said: “We were extremely disappointed and disheartened by the news that we would lose funding.

“Although not as large a cut as many organisations face, we’re still having to mould our services to ensure we can still provide the vital prevention and crisis work that we currently provide.

‘‘For every £1 Fife Council gave us last year we raised another £3.

‘‘This is not about the Council giving us money but about them investing in a vital service for the people of Fife.

‘‘We are determined this set-back won’t stop us from providing that service.”

Home-Start Kirkcaldy and Lochgelly, which supports vulnerable families, will see their grants slashed by over £8000 - a cut of nine per cent.

May Fong, who represents local branches across Fife, said: “We recognise that Fife Council values Home-Start services in Fife. However, the individual cuts approved for each scheme is significant and will be felt by all schemes, indeed by some more than others.

“Despite identifying efficiency savings, these cuts will impact on the services we provide in Fife and it is estimated that approximately 60-70 families across Fife will not now receive Home-Start support.”

She added: “We will however continue to work hand-in-hand with statutory services to ensure that families receive the support they require.”

Alistair Gaw, head of service for the Council’s children and families and criminal justice services, said the decisions made were not easy.

He said: “For most of these organisations, social work and Council is not the only funding source.

We will be making sure they get support to identify other funding.”

Meanwhile, Labour parliamentary candidate Marilyn Livingstone will meet with the Cottage Family Centre, Kirkcaldy. It is not facing a cut in its grant, but needs to access other funding sources to sustain its services.