Leeds and Yorkshire: Charities ‘feel pinch’ as cuts bite

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Charities and voluntary groups in Yorkshire fear financial problems due to loss of grants caused by Government cuts – while demand on their services increases.

The Voluntary Sector Quarterly Confidence Survey, conducted by Involve Yorkshire and Humber last month, shows that 80 per cent of respondents believe that economic conditions in the voluntary sector will deteriorate over the next 12 months.

Involve Yorkshire and Humber, set up in 1997, is an independent social business and charity which has over 130 members linking them to more than 20,000 “front line” groups.

Ant Hanlon, chief executive of Leeds Irish Health and Homes, said: “The reality of the economy will mean that many organisations will simply not be able to generate enough income to survive, without affecting the quality of their care.”

Almost three out of four (67 per cent) of respondents who receive local authority funding have had it cut in the financial year 2011/12. The survey highlights serious problems organisations have in getting involved in local or regional decision-making.

Judy Robinson, chief executive of Involve Yorkshire and Humber said: “Everyone, from all sides, recognises the importance of involvement of voluntary and community organisations in decision-making, but less and less are funded to do so, which begs real questions about the sustainability of their involvement.

“The voluntary and community sector contributes £2.75bn per year to the Yorkshire economy. As cuts bite they will have a serious knock-on effect on already disadvantaged communities.”

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