Charity forced to slash community services

Nks original

A charity which has provided support to ethnic minorities for three decades has been forced to cut services after losing funding

11th April 2019 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A charity which provides support to women from minority backgrounds and their families is having to strip back its services after funding cuts.

Nari Kallyan Shango (NKS) was founded more than 30 years ago by a group of Bangladeshi women who wanted to have a place where they could meet regularly and provide their community with services.

The Edinburgh-based charity expanded over the years to provide wider services for the South Asian community and other minorities.

However the organisation has now been forced to slash many of the services it operates after losing core funding from the Edinburgh Integrated Joint Board (EIJB).

NKS has had to cease its health advocacy service for families facing barriers in accessing health services, and its outreach/befriending service can no longer be provided to isolated families. Transport services that were provided to older people have also been cut and members of staff have seen their hours cut.

“Losing the EIJB funding was the last straw for us, it meant we had now lost all of our core funding,” said Naina Minhas, manager of NKS.

“We work with communities where there is huge isolation, especially amongst the Bangladeshi community.

“Originally the group was for Bangladeshi women, but now we work with families from all ethnic backgrounds and we work with men too.

“We have built great links within the community, but losing our core funding puts these links at risk.”

NKS has been praised for its works in the community, being recognised by the Scottish Charity Awards and the Scottish Business Awards. However with funding only remaining for short-term projects, the organisation faces an uncertain future.

“The foundation of any community organisation should be outreach work, going out and working with communities,” Minhas added.

“That has almost gone completely now. We were running nine different groups for people with different needs, but most of them have gone now.

“Core funding was the backbone of the organisation. When that goes you are left with temporary funding for projects that will run for one or two years. You can only run these projects for as long as the funding lasts, and you don’t know what is going to happen next year.”

NKS was one of the projects that missed out on community funding from the EIJB. EIJB, made up of health board and council representatives, said the cuts followed a review into health and social care grants – with more than 150 organisations making applications worth £31 million to a fund that only has £14.1m available.