‘Heartbreak’ as Eastbourne service closes after almost 30 years

Pippa Bowley, Lou Sims, Kathy Long and Flossie Hayllar (Photo by Jon Rigby)
Pippa Bowley, Lou Sims, Kathy Long and Flossie Hayllar (Photo by Jon Rigby)

A trustee has reflected on “heartbreaking” news as the Shinewater Shaftesbury Service closes today (May 31).

The service, which last year held more than 2,000 appointments and helped more than 650 people with money advice and counselling, said due to a shortage of funding it can no longer go on.

Eastbourne advice service announces closure after 27 years

Originally opened as The Chat Shop in 1992, the centre has been forced to close at the end of May after 27 years helping countless residents.

Claire Howell, trustee, said, “We are gutted to be honest. When a charity fails because the need’s not there you can understand it, but we get a lot of good feedback from clients.

“People say things like ‘I don’t know what I would have done without this’.

“It’s heartbreaking. We just weren’t able to get the grants in this year. We needed significant funds. The more funders we talk to the more we hear some other charities are going the same way.

“There’s a great affection for what the trust has done. It’s great to be part of that. We appreciate the love and warmth we have received if anything else.”

The centre, which also recovered £300,000 for benefit clients last year, says it is currently working on bringing ongoing cases to a close before it shuts for good.

A spokesperson said, “We are hugely thankful for the many clients, funders, staff, volunteers and members of the community who have supported us and remain grateful to have been able to serve our community in such a practical way.”

Seven part time members of staff are to be made redundant.

The Foodbank service will be provided for as long as possible on weekday mornings throughout June, while the centre itself will close for good at the end of the month.

It is holding a Thanksgiving lunch on June 19.

If you have any questions regarding paperwork, email info@ shinewatershaftesburycentre.co.uk before June 21, 2019.