Harrow Road service provider to transfer running to service users
Neighbourhood partnership to lose funding from April
STAFF at a community partnership scheme that has supported some of society’s most vulnerable people were handed their marching orders last week as its backers withdrew funding.
Harrow Road Neighbourhood Partnership (HRNP) successfully served the Maida Hill, West Kilburn, community for the last six years but will close its doors on March 31.
The closure follows the Government’s decisions to cut funding for local area renewal partnerships.
Kierra Box, a neighbourhood officer at HRNP, said: “We knew from a year ago this was a possibility and have been working hard to find alternative funding but now we have our redundancy notices.”
The Partnership ran community and consultation events to help improve the area and support marginalised residents.
It established a single point of access for social housing tenants to access services, a drop-in advice centre for the Bengali community, an employment service and a drop-in for older people.
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These services are now at risk of collapse.
Ms Box hopes to set-up a social enterprise managed by the residents before April 1 running as many of the services as possible out of a new NHS wellbeing centre in Harrow Road.
She said: “There isn’t the budget to support this. The big society relies on people like us doing this sort of work.
“We need to make sure people have the appropriate management skills and administration skills, but this takes time. People are feeling powerless.”
A spokeswoman for Octavia Housing association said: “Octavia Housing was happy to be involved with the Partnership and it has proven to be a good way of linking up with other associations to support local residents.
“The structure of how the work of the Partnership will continue after funding ceases has not been made clear but we are looking at ways that we can continue to maintain these links and to benefit our tenants.”