Three new reports on partnership working between faith and local government.

Cuts leave charities fearing closure within a year says NCB report

A significant minority of charities fear closure over the coming year, while others implement bracing measures in the face of a £405 million statutory funding loss, reveals a National Children's Bureau (NCB) report today (Mon 30 Apr).

Beyond the Cuts* estimates that the 34,000 charities in England which work primarily with children and young people will lose £405 million in statutory funding in the five years from 2011/12 to 2015/16.

NCB research shows children and young people's charities are more vulnerable to these cuts, as they receive more of their income from statutory sources and are four times less likely to receive corporate support.

NCB consulted a number of charities and found they are taking various actions to manage the impact of the cuts, including reducing the number of staff they employ, and cutting back on the range of services they offer, as well as developing consortia and mergers. It also finds that charities face barriers to dealing with the financial challenge due to a lack of capacity to develop partnerships and shared services, and a lack of understanding about new business and funding models.

A small but significant minority responded to the consultation by saying it was 'likely' or 'very likely' they would be forced to close in the next 12 months.

Dr Hilary Emery, chief executive of NCB said: 'Funding cuts of close to half a billion pounds is not good news for children and young people. And it's not good news for a sector reeling from both the burden of an economic downturn, decreasing sources of public funding and increasing demands.'

She continued: 'Shutting up shop is only a short term answer to a long term problem. While, Children's charities themselves must be at the forefront of creating solutions, there is still a role for national government to put its weight behind the development of new partnerships and new ways of working."

Baroness Tyler of Enfield, Member of the House of Lords said: 'Clearly collaboration and joint working will be vital as resources become ever scarcer. It's my hope that the report will encourage all interested parties to come together to ensure the children and young people's voluntary sector can continue to flourish into the future, building on its history of innovation and cooperation , while overcoming the economic challenges of today.'

Recommendations from the report include a robust Government-led analysis of spending on the sector, a nationwide survey of children and young people's charities to assess impact of austerity measures, the development of a coherent strategy for the development of the children and young people's voluntary sector, and the closer working at the local level between directors of children's services, public health leads, GP-led commissioning groups and the voluntary sector.


Taken from www.ncb.org.uk