February 2019 Holiday Club News!

February 2019 Half Term Holiday Club

It’s an exciting day here today at FUN HQ as we are delighted to announce that our February Half Term Holiday Club brochure is now available to view on our website.

Please download a copy of our February Half Term Holiday Club Brochure

We have lots of FUN activities and events planned for our families to enjoy, holiday club will be running in the half term holidays on Monday 11th February & Tuesday 12th February 2019 and Monday 18th February & Tuesday 19th February 2019.

Holiday club is for members only and is designed so that the whole family can attend together. Sessions run from 10am to 4pm. The cost is £6.00 per child per session or £15.00 per family.

To become a member, please contact FUN HQ on 01582 420800 or see our website www.familiesunitednetwork.org.uk for more information. Membership is completely FREE

Great News For FUN and Families

Great News for FUN and Families.

After the challenges that FUN has faced over the last few months, it is with great pleasure that we can inform you of the following good news:

Funding from Central Bedfordshire Council, that had previously been withdrawn from FUN and other short break providers in the county, has now been re-instated by the Council.  Everyone at FUN HQ is delighted with the change of heart from Central Bedfordshire Council.  The Council’s commitment to continue to provide funding for our services into the future, can help us to remove the postcode lottery that Central Bedfordshire families have been experiencing with some of our most popular services.  Further discussions about this will take place when the FUN Board of Trustees meet next month, after which time we should be in a position to notify you about our plans going forward for increased access to our services for our Central Bedfordshire members.

Central Bedfordshire Council have released the following statement:

We hugely value the work that our local voluntary sector do to support children and young people with special education needs and/or disabilities and their families, and are committed to support them in their work in Central Bedfordshire. 

Over the last few weeks we have been positively engaging with local voluntary sector organisations and the SNAP Parent Carer Forum in order to ensure continuity of short breaks provision for children and young people in Central Bedfordshire as we move towards a model of personalisation and direct payments.

As a result, we can confirm we have now stabilised funding to March 2020 to ensure children, young people and their families can continue to access this provision.

During this period we will continue to work closely with families and voluntary sector organisations to co-develop a personalisation strategy for Central Bedfordshire, with a view to implementing from April 2020.

Trustees and staff would like to say a huge thank you to SNAP, the Central Bedfordshire Parent Carer Forum, and acknowledge the vital work that they have done to bring about this change of direction from Central Bedfordshire Council.  SNAP have been instrumental in ensuring that SEND children and their families are at the forefront of local government decisions; and have championed the role that key charities play within the county in providing vital services that disabled children and their families need.

Beyond 2020, we know that there are going to be changes in the way that funding is provided to us and other local charities, as Central Bedfordshire Council plans to move towards more personalisation in the way that it funds short breaks for children with additional needs and disabilities.  SNAP, Central Bedfordshire Council and the voluntary organisations will be working in partnership over the next 18 months to develop a strategy and plan for this change, to ensure that vital services are not lost during the transition.

It is critical that as many parent carers as possible are involved in this future planning, and we would strongly encourage you to make contact with SNAP and ensure that your voice is heard during this process of change leading up to 2020.  Please follow the link below to register as a member of SNAP, so that you can be kept up to date with developments and be given opportunities to provide your thoughts and feedback on any changes that may affect the services that your family uses.

To register as a member of SNAP please follow the link below:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MembershipformtojoinSNAP

Attached is the latest SNAP Newsletter

Website:  www.snappcf.org.uk

To follow SNAP on facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/snappcf.org.uk/

Christmas Holiday Club News

Christmas Holiday Club 2018/2019

It’s an exciting day here today at FUN HQ as we are delighted to announce that our Christmas Holiday Club brochure is now available to view on our website.

Please download a copy of our Christmas Holiday Club Brochure

We have lots of FUN activities and events planned for our families to enjoy, holiday club will be running in the Christmas holidays on Thursday 27th December and Friday 28th December 2018 and also Wednesday 2nd January and Thursday 3rd January 2019.

However, the FUN starts with our FUN Christmas Party on Friday 21st December 2018 form 4.30pm to 6.30pm at FUN HQ

Tickets cost just £6 per person (children under 2 years are FREE)

BOOK NOW – places are limited and tickets can only be pre-booked up until 12th December 2018. Members only please

Holiday club is for members only and is designed so that the whole family can attend together. Sessions run from 10am to 4pm. The cost is £6.00 per child per session or £15.00 per family.

To become a member, please contact FUN HQ on 01582 420800 or see our website www.familiesunitednetwork.org.uk for more information. Membership is completely FREE

FUN Christmas Party – BOOK NOW!

FUN Christmas Party Tickets on Sale NOW!

Tickets are now on sale for our FUN Christmas Party 2018 on Friday 21st December 2018 at FUN HQ from 4.30pm to 6.30pm

Tickets cost just £6.00 per person (children under 2 years go FREE!)

The cost includes, music, food, games and a visit to Santa’s grotto.

Please note this event is for members only and must be pre-booked in advance.

*Our party will take place in the main hall – however, there will be no access to the soft play, ball pond or play areas at this event

The closing date for bookings is Wednesday 12th December 2018 – So don’t miss out – book your tickets NOW!!! 

fun news pic

GOOD NEWS!

FUN to remain OPEN!

Dear Members,

It is with great pleasure that we can announce that Families United Network had their EGM last night and it was decided to keep FUN open, and to continue to run the charity’s services for our members beyond December.

FUN has received a pledge from Luton Council in conjunction with London Luton Airport for some further funding to enable the charity to continue its work.  We have also had a great response to our crowdfunding campaign and we would like to thank all of you who have already generously donated to this campaign.

Although the extra money raised is not the full amount needed for the next two years, we have secured enough additional support to secure the charity in the short to medium term.

However, we must emphasise that there is still an urgency for FUN to find alternative and more affordable premises going forward, and the trustees and staff will be working hard over the next year to secure a new home for the charity, and to raise funds for any necessary refurbishments.

We also urgently need more members who are willing to become trustees of the charity.  A charity can only exist where it has an appropriate number of serving trustees on its board.  Our board of trustees are currently a very small team, with our Chair and Vice Chair having served for ten years.  These two trustees are leaving the charity within the next six months, leaving an insufficient number of trustees to enable the charity to continue.  This coming year will be a period of change and transition for the charity and we need more members who are willing to help meet the challenge of finding a new home for FUN and securing its services for the longer term.  If you would like more information about how you can become a trustee of FUN, please contact the office.

Many thanks again to everyone who has supported us over the last few weeks, and helped us to ensure that our services can continue for all of our members.

Regards,

Diane – Charity Manager

Emergency General Meeting – TIME CHANGE

Emergency General Meeting at FUN HQ

PLEASE NOTE – THE START TIME FOR THE EMERGENCY GENERAL MEETING IS NOW 7.30PM ON MONDAY 19TH NOVEMBER 2018.

There have been a lot of meetings, consultations and events over the last few weeks on the future of Families United Network.
On Monday 19th November, our Board of Trustees and Senior Staff will be in the position to update our members and supporters on the outcome of all the consultations.

Please arrive from 7.15pm – this is an Adults only meeting and unfortunately, we are unable to offer childcare.

FUN Quiz Night News

November Quiz Night News

A very big congratulations to our November Quiz winners ‘5 Alive’. As you can see from our picture the winners were delighted to win the FUN winners trophy!


Also, the picture quiz winners were a team named ‘The Village Idiots’ and was headed up by our very own FUN Fundraiser Jess Wake

We were delighted to see members from our Young Adult Club taking part at the quiz this month and we hope that everyone one who attended had a brilliant evening!

We raised an AMAZING £353.19 in total. Thank you all for coming and taking part.

The Quiz was hosted by our fabulous quiz master Tim. We would like to thank Tim for his continued support. A big thank you to all the staff at The Beefeater Halfway House for their excellent service and a lovely dinner.

Save FUNs Activity Centre for Disabled Children

Donate with JustGiving to help save FUN

Sadly, our charity has reached a point of crisis, and is in grave danger of closing, with services ending for members on 21st December 2018.

FUN are aiming to raise £160,000 to support our building costs for 2 years whilst we look for new premises to relocate to.

YOU can help to support us by donating via our JustGiving page – every little helps!

Please click here to access our JustGiving Page

 

Proposed Closure of Families United Network

Closure of Families United Network

31st October 2018

Dear Member

It is with great sadness that I write to you on behalf of the Trustees of Families United Network to inform you that the Charity has reached a point of crisis, and is in grave danger of closing, with services ending for members 21st December 2018.

The Trustees and senior staff of FUN have been working tirelessly for over a year to prevent this situation, however, sadly a perfect storm of events and circumstances have led us to where we are now. Our costs have significantly increased following the sale of Britannia Estates. The new landlord, Petchey Holdings have doubled the costs of the building which has been a devastating blow to our otherwise financially healthy charity. Our funding forecasts for the next two years have dropped with the withdrawal of local government support and other key grants. These two issues, along with our requirement to sign a new long-term lease at a much higher cost, means that it would be irresponsible and unethical for the Board to commit FUN to the building longer term, without having a confirmed income source to support these costs.

We understand and are very concerned about the impact that this will have on many of your families and you as our members are our priority. Many of our Trustees and senior staff are parents of children with disabilities so we know first-hand how hard life can be, even with a full complement of services.

We have made appeals for assistance from Luton Borough Council and the Landlord, however, at the time of writing this, the landlord has refused any concession and we have yet to hear from the local authority. Along with informing yourselves, we will be advising our contacts in and around the local area and asking for support.

We are a membership led organisation and therefore are asking you for help should you wish FUN to continue providing services for the disabled community and your family. We cannot move forward without support and this starts with your desire to see FUN continue.
The Trustees and senior staff will be holding two consultation events to provide more information to members and other interested parties. These are detailed on the enclosed leaflet. If you can help FUN then please come to the events, as we will have no choice but to close the charity if we cannot resolve the current crisis.

Should you have any questions or concerns before the consultation events then please call the following numbers during office hours: Diane Rhodes (Charity Manager) 07880 404333, Jo Stuart (Chair of Trustees) 07815 913320 or email diane@familiesunitednetwork.org.uk Please do not call the main office as staff will not be able to assist you.

We have been providing services for twenty years to families in Bedfordshire and our services are used by hundreds of families.

Again, we are devastated as both Trustees and members of FUN to have to consider this drastic action.

Yours faithfully

Jo Stuart
Chair of Trustees

FUN Quiz Night November 2018

Fundraising Events – Quiz Night November 2018

Come and join us for FUNs exciting General Knowledge Quiz Night on Tuesday 6th November 2018!

Based at the Halfway House in Dunstable, you will be able to enjoy a two course meal before competing in our famous Quiz night. Hosted by our favourite Quiz master TIM.

Quiz, Dinner and Pudding is only £12

Quiz and Dinner is £10

and Quiz only is £5

Grab some friends and book your team table today.

Book online today!