A local charity which helps children to cope with the loss or death of a loved one is under threat of after it was told some of its funding would be cut.
The Newark-based Children’s Bereavement Centre is appealing for help after it was told contributions from the Mansfield and Ashfield and Newark and Sherwood Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) would be terminated.
Until recently, 8% of the charity’s total income came from contributions from the CCGs equating to £25,188 a year.
Kate Baxter, Director of Services for the Children’s Bereavement Centre, said: “We’ve been receiving funding from the CCGs since 2014, but unfortunately the decision has been made to terminate the payments.
“This is despite the fact that 70% of our referrals are from healthcare professionals and that we have supported over 450 young people from Newark and Mansfield in the past year.
“As a result, we are having to seek other viable options to bridge the gap – otherwise we will have to reduce services, which of course would be detrimental to those accessing them.”
The Children’s Bereavement Centre has been providing a unique range of services for 15 years.
Kate added: “Countless people have said that they wished such help existed when they were growing up, while those who have been able to access our services often say they can’t imagine how they would have coped without them.”
Izzy Smith, from Ollerton near Newark, was referred to the Children’s Bereavement Centre at the age of 10 after she discovered her mother had taken her own life.
Now aged 20, Izzy is grateful for the support the staff at the Children’s Bereavement have provided. She said: “The centre became my safe place after my life had turned to darkness; I was self-harming, misbehaving and lashing out at loved ones, but they have shown me that I can be happy again as that’s what my mum would have wanted.
“I can honestly say this charity has saved my life: my confidence has gone from rock bottom to sky high, allowing me to do things I never thought possible. We must do everything we can to ensure it remains here for all local children who need help in the future.”
Kate added: “While it’s always worrying when funding we have relied so heavily on is withdrawn, we are hopeful that individuals and businesses will be willing and able to help.
“We are so grateful for all of the support we receive, now and in the future, which enables us to continue to run such a vital charity.”
The charity is also in the running to receive between £5,000 and £10,000 through the Aviva Community Fund, which is dictated by votes from the public.
To cast your vote, visit the website here by November 20.