Eastbourne charities warn they could close doors

east sussex hearing resource bus for lip reading lessons ENGSNL00120111008092827
east sussex hearing resource bus for lip reading lessons ENGSNL00120111008092827

Eastbourne based charities have warned they may have to close its doors if hit by major cuts to care budgets.

The warning comes after East Sussex County Council announced proposals to cut its Adult Social Care budget by £40m.

To meet this the council is looking to cut its funding to voluntary organisations by £1.8m – leaving only £200,000 for these organisations.

John Leonard, director of the East Sussex Hearing Resource centre in Eastbourne said his charity may not be able to stay in business if hit by proposed council cuts .

The charity which works with deaf and the hearing-impared to provide lip reading and sign language classes and other outreach work is one of a number of charities which would be affected.

Mr Leonard said, “We could end having to close

“We would have to lose staff and we wouldn’t be able to afford the rent on our premises.

“We are very lucky to have a large number of volunteers –around 70 – but if we lose the core funding from the council we will find it very difficult to find volunteers who have the skills our staff do.”

As well as providing classes and equipment for deaf people the charity also runs an outreach service for rural areas around East Sussex.

Mr Leonard said, “A lot of the people we work with are a older and often have other disabilities as well.

“We provide them with an Oasis of sanity.

“Without it they could end up falling back into an isolated existence.”

The proposed cuts have been causing concerns for other charities which work in the town.

The East Sussex Disability Association’s Centre for Independent Living (ESDA) is holding a special meeting for members and other disabled people at St John’s Church Hall in Polegate on December 9.

Linda Pawlowski from the organisation said, “ESDA fears that the upcoming cuts to Adult Social Care in the county will hit hard at many third sector services like ours that supports the most vulnerable residents; it is possible that some of these charities may cease to exist altogether.”

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