County charity Service Six is reassuring its users that it is doing all it can to protect the support services it offers families across Northamptonshire – despite proposed budget cuts by the county council.
Northamptonshire County Council revealed its proposals to reduce funding for children’s services, including its supporting services contract which is currently provided in all areas of the county other than Kettering by Service Six and its partners Northampton Women’s Aid (NWA), Northamptonshire Association of Youth Clubs (NAYC) and Family Action.
The proposed cuts could see the end of such projects as those tackling anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse and those offering parenting support, services which the partnership has been supplying since July 2014 after it won a £10.5m contract which was due to last until 2018.
Service Six chief executive Jane Deamer said: “We are obviously very concerned about the possible threat to these vital services and realise that this must be a very difficult and uncertain time for those vulnerable children, young people, adults and families whom we currently assist.
“I want to reassure all our clients that we are working hard to ensure that the potential cuts have as little impact on the support they receive as possible and will keep them up-to-date with developments.
“We won’t know the full implications until the final decision on budget cuts are ratified by the county council in February but in the meantime our services are running as usual and we of course remain committed to supporting and improving the lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of the community here in the county.”
Prior to securing the 2014 contracts, Service Six first won countywide county council youth contracts in 2007, as well as three out of four county council contracts commissioned in 2010.
All contracts were delivered with targets exceeded and millions of pounds in added value.
Service Six has been serving the county since the mid-1970s and has provided life-saving and life-changing services for hundreds of thousands of young people and, within more recent years, for children, adults and families.
It is a registered charity which provides a range of free support, therapy, information and positive activity services within the Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire for children, young people, adults and families.
The charity is funded by local authorities such as Northamptonshire County Council and East Northamptonshire Council, the NHS including Nene Clinical Commissioning and Northamptonshire Health Foundation Trust (NHFT) as well as other local, regional and national trusts, foundations, businesses and grant givers including the Big Lottery Fund.
A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “As part of our budget proposals for 2016/17, we are reviewing the support services we commission for children and families in order to achieve greater efficiencies through the reduction of duplication and earlier intervention.
“We are currently consulting on our proposals and people can have their say on the draft budget by visiting www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/draftbudget.”
For more information about Service Six, go to www.servicesix.co.uk.