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Noah's Ark charity slashes services after income falls
A CHARITY which helps youngsters going through the tragedy of losing mums, dads and close relatives has announced it will have to cut back on the services it offers or risk total collapse.
Noah’s Ark Trust, which covers south Worcestershire and Herefordshire, is cutting half of its staff and withdrawing services from the north of Worcestershire.
The charity’s board has agreed the desperate measure after seeing its monthly income reduced by almost 50 per cent.
Its incomes from trusts and grants have all but dried up as Britain’s continues to endure an economic slump.
It costs £42,000 a month to run, but for the past few months that figure has been £18,000 short on average.
After digging deep into financial reserves to carry on its existing services, the charity has been left with no choice but to make a big cut or go to the wall.
“It was a tough decision for the board to take but it’s a question of survival,” said chief executive Gabby Beddowes.
“The money simply isn’t there to continue to support our current caseload of 900 children. It’s heart-breaking.
“In the long term, without intervention, it is likely to end up costing the community more money.
“Many children who experience the death of someone close to them do not know how to deal with their feelings, which can lead to behavioural and mental health problems further down the line.”
Under the shake-up, four bereavement co-ordinators and two fund-raisers have been put on three months’ notice. Another staff member has already left.
Changes to services mean only children who have lost a parent, brother or sister will be supported by the charity.
And the charity is pulling out of Wyre Forest, Redditch and Bromsgrove at the end of this month, with about 50 bereaved children who had been expecting support now missing out.
Noah’s Ark was set up in 1998, providing thousands of people up to the age of 18 with crucial support at the most traumatic times of their lives.
The cause gets referrals from family members, teachers, doctors and social workers and is widely respected.
Professional staff and volunteers give one-to-one support free of charge.
The charity also runs outdoor activity weekends to build young people’s self-confidence.
Mrs Beddowes is now “begging” businesses and people to help if they can.
“We would beg them to help with the hope we can weather the storm and once again offer a full service in years to come,” she said.
l In tomorrow’s Worcester News, find out more about how the charity’s vital services helped change one young woman’s life and what you can do to help.