A charity that provides support for families with young children and disabled teenagers is to close its base in Crawley.
The Springboard Project has operated from a centre in Stagelands, Langley Green, for the past five years and says it is closing the unit ‘with great sadness’ because of finance problems.
But it stresses that the organisation is not closing and it will continue to provide services in the town.
Chief executive Ben Burt said: “Our vital services including our short breaks sessions for families with a disabled child in Crawley will remain.” He said Sprinboard would “continue to run services in Crawley, Horsham and Worthing and we remain committed to ensuring those families with a disabled child are able to get the support they need.”
In a statement, he added: “The ongoing financial pressures being felt across the voluntary and public sector, constant and increasing constraints of local authority budgets, and more competition for income from fundraising have all contributed to the need to reduce fixed costs and drive the organisation’s future sustainability.
“This has been a very difficult decision for Springboard and one in which we have taken due care and time over to see if any solutions could be found to remain based at the centre. Unfortunately, the financial implications of increases in rents, utilities, and general upkeep of the centre has meant that its continued operating costs have put the whole organisation under significant financial risk that is not sustainable in such challenging circumstances.
“Reducing our fixed overheads will help ensure that the organisation is able to direct charitable funds where there is the greatest need and make Springboard sustainable in years to come so we can deliver the best possible services
within our limited resources.”
He added: “We understand that this will come as a huge blow to families we have been working with who have grown to love the centre and we know it has become a welcome home and base for many. However, we know from our delivery in other areas that we will continue to offer great outcomes for children, young people, and families.
“We are hugely grateful of the support we have received over the years and we will continue our work with the council and other providers to improve accessibility and inclusion within existing community facilities in the area.
“It is extremely sad that we will be leaving the Langley Green property, and we are incredibly proud of the work we have done there.
“Our short breaks for families with a disabled child will continue in the county and we will be embedding our activities within the local community and help to develop more inclusive and assessable facilities in Crawley.”
Earlier, Crawley Borough Council leader Peter Lamb said the council had offered to freeze Springboard’s rent on the Langley Green building and guarantee a grant. “It is very sad that the charity is closing but it is not through any unreasonable behaviour on the council’s part.”