It appears that Age UK Haringey has fallen victim to the decreasing level public and third sector funding. The following letter to was circulated to councillors two days ago.
The charity will be ceasing its operations from April 30th 2016.
It is with a very heavy heart that I have to announce the closure of Age UK Haringey.
Our charity has served the older people of Haringey for 25 years. In that time we have seen people become less lonely and get healthier because they feel more cared for within their community. We have helped people claim the benefits they were entitled to and seen the difference being better off makes. Our trusted team of handypersons have kept people safe in their own homes. And we have loved seeing older volunteers helping Haringey’s young school children learn through an award winning project.
The care and energy of our volunteers have made this possible. These generous people have worked hard to make their community a better place to live. Finding enough money has always been difficult, particularly over the last year. Keeping Age UK Haringey running; paying for its office, staff, and senior manager, cost money. Money we do not have.
The contracts that each contributed a little to our running costs are fewer and have become harder to get. The fewer contracts we have the less affordable Waltheof Gardens and our activities become.
In past years the Trustees have looked forward and known that with the income we expect, and with the safety net of our reserves, we could afford to keep on working, at least for one more year. Many of you will know that we have had to make big savings to carry on working. Last summer for example, 10 staff left the organisation.
This year there are no options left. There is nothing left to cut, there are no reserves and the money we expect is far too little.
The Trustees are working with our CEO and the staff to try and find organisations who could continue to provide our services using our volunteers. We will talk to the people who fund us and to our neighbouring Age UK’s in Camden, Islington and Barnet.
I am so sorry to bring you this news. It is a very upsetting time for everyone involved in Age UK Haringey. It is sad too that we are one of many small local charities having to close.
That's very sad news, a big loss. I do worry for elderly people in the community.
The following via email from Citizen's Advice Haringey:
Citizens Advice Haringey are deeply saddened that Haringey Age UK are having to close the door to services in the borough. We have been closely working Age UK regarding the Information, Advice and Guidance contract and this will be a sad loss to that element of the contract and the people that use their services.
Haringey Citizens Advice is currently working with another partner to deliver the new service and we will inform people once this is fully confirmed. We, as with other organisations in the borough, will aim to support and assist people this will effect.
We wish the staff and volunteers all the very best and would like to thank them for all the hard work and support you have given to people in Haringey.
Lynn Hannah – Chief Executive Citizens Advice Haringey
See also this press release from Haringey Citizen's Advice about the new Advice Service in the borough.
I'm really sorry to hear this. It's been a life-line for so many people for so many years.
I worked there for a while when the Neighbourhoods Connect project was getting going and I was so shocked by how many older people are isolated in Haringey, never going out anywhere, having no-one to talk to. Living in solitary confinement really.
Age UK helped as many of those people as possible and put forward the issues of older people to the Council and Govt. bodies. They had a great team of people there and many volunteers working as befrienders.
Who is going to do that now? Who will coordinate the reaching out and befriending? Plus they had activities going on at the Age UK offices. It's really worrying that these things will all just stop. Is there some way the council will pick up on some of these services or are lonely, isolated older people now being condemned to more time in solitary?
We can do what we can as neighbours of course but the coordination will be lacking without Age UK.
This is very bad news for the older people of Haringey who have been very well served by Age UK. I think they need specific advocacy as services are closing around them, not generic help. Where will this all end?
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