I was really disappointed to receive an email from Jan Thomas this afternoon, informing me of the struggles encountered by Flintshire Disability Forum (FDF) in regard to attracting the funds needed to continue their vital community work.
The FDF lost it’s Flintshire County Council (FCC) funding last September, and are struggling to attract funds because sadly service users are those forgotten people that are no longer flavour of the month, they are the people who fall through everybody’s net.
Although the Welsh Government talks about independent living, loneliness and isolation, health and well-being and the Social Model of Disability this DOES NOT translate into funds on the ground.
The Directors of the Charity thought long and hard about the future and the best estimate is that we have funds for only 3 more months ie until the end of June.
I am including below a template letter that we would encourage people to send to FCC to urge them to reconsider their decision. If you would prefer to send your own words based loosely on the same information please feel free to do so.
If you can tell your own story that would carry more weight.
Please email Neil.J.Ayling@flintshire.gov.uk
Dear Mr Ayling.
I am writing this email to support TheFDF Centre for Independent Living.
TheFDF formerly Flintshire Disability Forum has been supporting disabled people in Flintshire for more than 20 years, they are well known across the County. Particularly for the support they give to people needing to apply for benefits PIP, ESA, UC, housing benefits they offer advice and information.
2 years ago they set up a befriending scheme for those people who cannot leave their own homes, they run 3 social groups every week which brings people together for company.
I understand that TheFDF has only sufficient funds to keep going for another 3 months, their funding from Flintshire County Council ended in September 2018. The service has been replaced by 4 other organisations that have received funding from Flintshire County Council for 5 months that is £88,750 of council taxpayers money.
BUT nobody knows how to access the new service as they are all based outside of Flintshire, FDF has a drop in service in Mold Town Hall that is heavily subscribed to.
It seems that FCC has given the funds to a signposting service that is not fit for purpose. Please reconsider your decision for the sake of the 500 people that currently use FDF and for those other disabled people that will need support in the future.
YOUR SIGNATURE AND THE ORGANISATION YOU REPRESENT.