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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


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