Below are some FAQs that might answer your questions about our closure.
Why can't you raise the funds? We have always offered our friendship breaks as a completely free service to those who cannot afford to pay. We have never received government funds to deliver our services and we have relied on legacy gifts and grants from charitable trusts as our main sources of funding. In recent years we have experienced a significant drop in legacy income and charitable trusts have had a surge in funding applications, which means we have been less successful in getting the size of grants that we need. We have tried other avenues but we have not found an answer to provide us with the income we need.
Why don't you join up with another charity working with older people?
Other charities cannot afford to take on the cost of providing free breaks and so we have not found another charity to join up with. Our plan is to distribute our remaining funds as grants to charity services for older people. That means that we can give bigger grants because we will not have the costs of an office and staff team.
How will your beneficiaries be affected? The nature of our service is that it is a unique intervention -therefore our priority has been to support new users rather than offer break places to people who have already been on a break. Most of our contacts will be signposted to Contact the Elderly services local to their home, so the main loss will be that we cannot offer break places to new users who are eligible.
Are you still fundraising? Not actively but we can continue to accept donations as the charity remains operational and the Trustees will distribute funds through a grants scheme.
I am concerned about recent press coverage about donor mailing lists being sold on. Will my contact details be passed onto other charities? No, we do not share donor or beneficiary data collected by us with third parties and our policy will not change. We will be deleting all contact details from our database and other records.
Who should I contact after the office closes? Our Contact Us page lists an email address and forwarding postal address. Please note that not all enquiries can be answered as there will be no staff to answer queries.