Cash reprieve for West Norfolk disability support service

Jonathan Toye at the WINDIS office Tuesday Market Place, King's Lynn

Jonathan Toye at the WINDIS office Tuesday Market Place, King's Lynn

A Lynn-based support service has been given a funding reprieve, just weeks after its future was plunged into doubt.

Local health chiefs have said they will continue to support the West Norfolk Disability Information Service (WNDiS), pending the outcome of a forthcoming review of its links with voluntary organisations.

The group says the decision is initially to the end of March, but also gives a six month notice of any decision to withdraw support, meaning it is likely to receive funding until September.

WNDiS co-ordinator Jonathan Toye yesterday thanked everyone who had offered them support since news of the original decision to cease funding was revealed last month.

He said: “It’s wonderful to have some breathing space.”

At present, WNDiS receives £13,000 of annual support from the West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The CCG has previously stated its decision to stop funding the group was made on the basis that much of its work was not health-related.

But it said yesterday: “The voluntary sector plays an essential part in our communities and we value our partnerships with the voluntary sector, to support local people.

“We are, at the moment, looking more strategically at how that partnership work can continue and develop.

“In light of this, it has been decided not to change WNDiS’ funding until the CCG has finished looking at its partnership approach with the voluntary sector.

“The CCG has informed WNDiS that should a further decision be made to cease funding, a six month notice period will apply.”

Mr Toye said he had completed several applications for funding from other sources before notification of the CCG’s decision came through on Wednesday afternoon.

There has also been contact with West Norfolk Council, whose leader, Brian Long, had said he would hold talks with the group.

Mr Toye has also issued an urgent appeal for more volunteers to join the service, both to train as advocates and take calls from the public.

Anyone interested should contact him on 01553 782558 or email jt@wndis.org.uk.