How going public about funding crisis saved a charity

Crop gingey

Fife Gingerbread could have gone to the wall after external funding came to an end

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17th April 2019 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

A charity which came close to closing due to funding cuts has said going public about its plight helped save it.

Fife Gingerbread could have gone to the wall after external funding came to an end.

It was forced to announce its difficulties and highlight the impact a dramatic reduction in its services would have on the families it supports.

The resulting campaign – which saw extensive coverage in TFN - saw it secure enough cash from Fife Council to the tune of £60,000 in its last budget.

This has come at a cost though – as redundancies have had to be made.

Fife Gingerbread has said it has now weathered its perfect storm and is well and truly back in business.

Chief executive Rhona Cunningham said: “Going public with our situation and campaigning for funding was not something we really wanted to do, but we know the need for the support we deliver is immense, and we know how devastating it would be to families if our support was suddenly not there.

“It now looks like the publicity around our crisis may pay off in the long term – but there’s a long way to go for sure.”

Since going public with its funding crisis in mid-January, the charity has had to trim down its staff from 41 to 30 and many of these posts have reduced roles or hours in an attempt to protect the ability to support families.

Simultaneously, the charity has been inundated with messages of support from partner organisations, local businesses, elected members, and from families who have used the service in the past.

An example of support is the recent fundraiser event – More than a Catwalk – organised by Kirkcaldy Sorpotimists as part of their year of support for Fife Gingerbread.

However, there is a fair bit of change ahead as staff that faced redundancy naturally have been looking elsewhere for more secure employment and this has led to a continual recruitment headache for the charity. 

Yvonne Moyes – business service manager – said: “The perfect storm was about more than just the money, it was about people. 

“Staff conditions in the voluntary sector are notoriously vulnerable – we did what we can to protect jobs. However, sad to say we still have lost some very good staff, they have been applying for work elsewhere. 

“Our staff have good skills and experience to offer, so we are now in this continual recruitment mode. It’s bizarre and very confusing for the public to see so many vacancies after the media coverage and this will probably continue for a wee while until everything settles down again.”