West Norfolk Carers charity could close after funding cut
A Lynn-based charity which supports thousands of unpaid carers in West Norfolk could close after losing 20 per cent of its income.
West Norfolk Carers has lost £53,000 from Norfolk County Council, which has previously funded the support services, after a Norwich-based charity won the tender in its stead.
Jane Evans, chief executive of West Norfolk Carers, said, although this is a difficult time for the charity, and with five of its 12 support workers being made redundant, they are trying to stay optimistic.
Mrs Evans said: “We are always hopeful and we try to be positive, but what we are seeing is the reality that there is so much pressure on charitable organisations – not just us.”
Much of the funding from the council was “core funding” which covered basic costs such as rent and lighting, she added.
Mrs Evans said in the 12 years that she has been at West Norfolk Carers, the charity has supported more than 15,000 carers.
“I was very surprised when I looked into it and saw that figure,” she added.
“It’s very sad, we are very concerned. We don’t want carers to be upset, but we will do our best.”
Due to changes on a national level, Mrs Evans said members of the public were being more selective about which charities they donate to.
“It would be lovely if every single person in West Norfolk donated £1 – but I don’t expect that to happen,” she added.
“We have already had people start to rally round for us though, and we are very grateful for that.”
The charity, which was started over 25 years ago, offers help to unpaid carers of all ages, relieving them from their feelings of loneliness, responsibility and helplessness by providing professional support, advice and guidance.
This care aims to help them overcome the emotional, financial and physical challenges presented by their caring role.
The charity currently runs support groups in Lynn, Swaffham, Hunstanton and Downham.
A Norfolk County Council spokesman said: “We value the work that carers across Norfolk do day in, day out, and it is so important that they have the best possible support to maintain a good quality of life.
“The Care Act 2014 introduced new duties that we as an authority need to fulfil and we want to offer carers services that reflect their changing needs, so we carried out a competitive tender process and awarded the contract with this in mind.”
To donate to West Norfolk Carers, or to find out more about what they do, go to: www.westnorfolkcarers.org.uk, email: info@ westnorfolkcarers.org.uk, call: 01553 768155 or visit them at their offices in Thoresby College, Queen Street, in King’s Lynn.