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I have run projects for two well-known charities and want to raise a serious concern. My grievances are not particular to these two organisations.

The charities in question work to support clients who are disadvantaged, and rely heavily on donations from the public. The rest of the funds come from other charitable bodies and the state.

So it all comes from you and me, with the intention of improving life for those in need.

I am upset by the way in which this money is used. The work I did was innovative and interesting and undoubtedly of benefit to the clients. I was paid well. But when the two projects came to a close it put an end to the work. Consequently, in my opinion, the money spent was not justified.

There is a short-term approach to projects both in the state and charity sectors. Innovative projects are entered into with an enthusiastic zeal by organisations and workers and may attract a lot of funding, especially from the Lottery Fund.

But a few months along the line, when the project has proved to be worthwhile, no more funding is available because providers say that the project has proved a need and should therefore be supported by state services. The state services say they haven’t the funding and so the project ends. In other cases funding is simply reallocated to another “good idea”. Evaluation reports of projects often end up on shelves; a few years later another charity duplicates much of the work that has already been done.

In the meantime, disadvantaged people have services offered and then removed, and any progress in developing services lurches from one idea to another or nosedives into oblivion.

It is such a waste of resources, leaving vulnerable people feeling bewildered and workers disillusioned. It makes a mockery of collection boxes outside supermarkets and abuses the efforts of fundraising volunteers. Services are not inadequate because of a lack of money – it is more to do with poor management.

Judy Clinton runs writing workshops in day centres and elsewhere

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