Lets start with the bad news:
- despite valiant attempts, we have not been able (as yet!) to recover the £70,000 lost funding for adult social care which currently funds our various evening social programmes for adults with a learning disability.
That sounds pretty bad (but we are working up a plan!), so what is the good news I ask you say?
- we have received enough capital funding to extend our base at Walnut Close to enable us to accommodate more people on our funded Evolve Programme which enables people with a profound and multiple learning disability to have a great day time programme of activities.
Here begins the dilemma. With a background of possibly (and I stress possibly) closing or reducing our evening social care programmes, what will folk think about us appearing to plough money into a building?
It is a hard one, but really it is a no-brainer. Let me explain:
- The funding we have received for the extension at Walnut Close is being given by people who will only fund building works. Even if we made representation to them about the areas that we need funding to continue valuable programmes, they would not be allowed to change the purpose for which we will get the money.
- Having the extension at Walnut Close will, in the longer term (over about 5 years) reduce out costs in renting suitable property elsewhere to run Evolve and, potentially, will save us up to £200,000 in revenue – this we can put to other use. So we are, effectively, investing other people’s money to save us running costs in the future.
So, we will be going ahead with the building work at Walnut Close and hopefully the wider public, our staff and volunteers will understand our rationale for doing this.
We will also be working very hard at finding other funding streams to support the very important evening social care for adults with a learning disability.
Oh yes, more good news!
- We have managed to secure, for one year only, additional funding for two of our young adults programmes – so there is one area ticked off!
Over the next two months we will be working hard on starting up the project plan for Walnut Close and looking creatively at how we protect services for the future.
So, when we consider is it buildings or people – in SoLO, it is both, but people always take the priority, with everything we do, whether it is building an extension, redesigning services or chasing funding, our members are always at the forefront of our mind.