Charity in funding plea as projects face axe

Fg0119 - fife gingerbread off the menu

Fife Gingerbread has penned an open letter to local authority bosses, highlighting its work and fears over existing partnerships

12th February 2019 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A charity has made a desperate plea to council bosses as it looks to continue its vital work supporting families.

Fife Gingerbread faces an uncertain future amid funding cuts – and revealed last month that jobs and services could go if alternative sources of income are not secured.

Now the charity has penned an open-letter to Fife Council co-leaders David Alexander and David Ross highlighting the importance of the work the organisation carries out.

In the letter, chief executive Rhona Cunningham said the charity did not want to resort to a public appeal but felt it was necessary as third sector organisations are often last in the queue for funding.

She said: “Fife Gingerbread has brought in millions of pounds to Fife to address the needs of families and fill gaps in provision. We have supported hundreds if not thousands of families in the past decade, no doubt saving Fife Council millions of pounds through the preventative work we specialise in.

“There are councils in the UK who are reporting worrying spikes in the number of looked after children due to Universal Credit and ever increasing poverty, however Fife Council have reported looked after children numbers are lower than expected considering the poverty levels in Fife.

“We are not claiming Fife Gingerbread can take 100% of the credit for this unexpected lower level, but we are saying that we are a key player here in Fife. In 2018 we supported 729 families, and currently have 348 live cases.”

The charity – which won People’s Choice at the Scottish Charity Awards in 2014 – said that many of its funding streams are set to run dry in the coming months.

Many of its services are only partially funded, or the funds are subject to cuts, and so far alternative funding hasn’t been secured. Up to 27 jobs are at risk as the result of the cuts.

In the letter, Cunningham has also stressed that funding cuts are putting partnership work between authorities and the third sector at risk.

She said: “Early intervention and preventative work can be taken for granted, as by its very nature the people who gain the most from it are never seen by a statutory service.

“That isn’t to say there is no place for third sector and statutory services to work in partnership, quite the opposite is true in fact. We have been working in partnership with Fife Council for years on many of our projects, all of which have been partially financed by external funders. Now that the external funding is ending, it feels to some degree that the partnership is ending too.”

Third Force News has contacted Fife Council for a response.