Hastings homelessness charity saved from closure

Seaview Project feature, St Leonards. SUS-151116-163644001
Seaview Project feature, St Leonards. SUS-151116-163644001

A charity which provides a lifeline to the homeless has been saved from closure after health organisations stepped in to provide short-term funding.

The Seaview Project, which supports people living on the streets of Hastings and St Leonards, was left facing an uncertain future following a brutal cut in its funding from East Sussex County Council.

Earlier in the year, the local authority approved a raft of cuts to adult social care in a bid to balance the books following a reduced settlement from central government.

Dr Anna Barnes, chairman of The Seaview Project, explained: “The proposal for a 90 per cent cut of the adult social care portion of our grant from ESCC – £48,000 from a total fund of £117,000 – caused staff and trustees profound anxiety and created stress for many of our service users, especially at a time when rough sleeping is on the increase.

“As this part of the service already runs at a loss, which we have absorbed from fundraising efforts like one of our trustees Caelie Butcher running the Hastings Half Marathon, to give an example, we really didn’t know if we could remain open.”

The cut was passed, but Hastings and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group and Public Health England have stepped in to provide short-term funding which plugs the £48,000 gap in funding for at least the next financial year.

This funding will be delivered through ESCC commissioning.

However, other PHE funding which supports peer development activities is likely to cease.

Dr Barnes said: “I firmly believe that it was the public support from local people, as well as the round-the-clock efforts of the staff team which have saved the organisation from closure.”

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