Befriending Service - Review Decision
Posted: Thu, 03 Sep 2015 09:07 by Neil Baker
Our befriending service has been under review since March 2015 due to a lack of funding available within this area of work. The review has been in depth and thorough, exploring possible funding streams, the design and implementation of the service, services provided by other charities and staffing costs. As part of this review volunteers and clients have had the opportunity to feed in views and opinions as well as a public consultation via our website and social media.
Since 2008 our befriending service has offered excellent levels of support and care for over 80 elderly people across Blaby District. The service has managed to survive through small grants from a range of charitable trusts, and has never received funding from local authorities, however the past three years has seen funding become increasingly difficult to source with the service struggling to maintain staffing costs. Our service has been cost efficient, and Community Action Partnership has continually explored ways of reducing staffing costs to enable this service to survive, in recent years this has seen the service reduce from 3 part time staff to one part time coordinator. Our volunteers have delivered excellence throughout the running of this project, dedicating their time and energy to the service and giving so much to so many elderly people. In addition many have led fundraising efforts and my personal thanks go to every single volunteer who has worked to support and help others so selflessly.
It is therefore with great sadness that I announce that our befriending service will close by 31st December 2015. This decision has been extremely hard for us to reach, but the review clearly demonstrated that the service could not survive without funding to ensure its staffing cost and growth, without funding the options were limited and would have seen the service slowly eroded.
We are deeply proud of the service provided since 2008 and of the role our staff and volunteers have played. We hope that at some point the future these services can once again thrive if funding is available, but at this point in time funding simply isn't there to continue.
We will continue to ensure the needs of older people sit at the heart of our services at Bassett Street Community Hub and within Community Transport services.
Neil Baker - Chief Executive