Fear for future of Supporting People services

Fears are growing within the voluntary sector over the future of
Supporting People services they are delivering due to uncertainty
over the programme’s funding, writes Sally

Some charities are being left in an unstable position after
being told the contracts they signed with partners are not
Geraldine Mahon, regional director for Midlands and North region at
mental health charity Maca, said there was “widespread
anxiety” about how reviews of the services were being
conducted and what their outcomes would be.

“Funding cuts are anticipated but we don’t know
where they will be. One partner has effectively cancelled their
contract with us, although we continue to provide the service and
pay for it.

“They say they cannot be bound by the contract we both
signed and won’t issue a new one until they feel confident
about the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister’s intentions on
funding,” she added.

Kate Lattimore, Supporting People coordinator at Homeless
charity St Mungo’s, said an annual increase of 3.5 per cent
was needed for frontline services “just to stand

“I hope our Supporting People income is not going to be
cut but things are uncertain for everyone until the grants, and how
they will be allocated across local authorities, are
announced,” she said.

A spokesperson for mental health charity Mind also confirmed
that some of its local associations involved in providing
Supporting People projects were vulnerable because funding for the
scheme was unconfirmed.

The Audit Commission is currently reviewing how Supporting
People money was spent and it is widely expected next year’s
budget will drop from £1.8 billion to £1.4 billion.



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