Charities to merge after spending cuts

Hackney Fairbridge Centre Photo: Fairbridge

The Fairbridge charity – which has a major centre in Hackney –  has announced plans to merge with The Prince’s Trust in April.

The charity helps disadvantaged young people between the ages of 13 and 25 who are struggling in education or have trouble engaging with society.

It received praise for its work in April 2010 from then Leader of the Opposition David Cameron, but the future of the award-winning, nationwide charity has recently been placed in doubt due to anticipated cuts in public funding. Over half of its annual funding comes from local councils and contributions made by the Big Lottery.

Fairbridge chief executive, Andrew Purvis, said the charity is not facing a financial crisis but acknowledged that: “By joining forces [with the Prince’s Trust] we will be in a stronger position to help more young people. We will also become more efficient, which is important given the increasingly challenging funding environment.”

In Hackney, Fairbridge provides support to over 200 people every year in a new facility in the Bayford Street Business Centre, which opened in January 2010. Diane Leeming, spokeswoman for Fairbridge, said: “The Hackney Centre is very positive as it is hugely welcoming and designed for purpose, which enables us to work with more people.”

The team in Hackney, led by Chris Murray, helps young people with their confidence and social skills so they can build a future in education or work. Delan, an 18-year old, supported by the centre said: “I have changed a lot and I feel like I’m on the path to achieving my dream.”

The merger between Fairbridge and The Prince’s Trust represents an early example of consolidation in the voluntary sector, a trend that is expected to continue as the impact of Government spending cuts becomes clear.

To find out how you can help Fairbridge visit the website.

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