Thursday 21 March 2019
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Crossroads Care East Anglia charity to close

A charity which supports carers across Norfolk, Suffolk and parts of Essex is closing after more than 30 years.

Crossroads Care East Anglia has nine offices across the region and employs 170 people, which it hopes will move to other charities in the sector.

Brenda Bond, chief executive, said cuts to funding were partly to blame.

"Although the economy is supposedly improving, social care and the knock-on effects of local government funding is still going down," she said.

The charity, which operates in the Uttlesford area of Essex, provides care for people in their homes so that carers can get respite breaks and also provides helplines and a young carers' forum.

Ms Bond said "huge cuts" in local government and a change to the funding model had been pivotal to the "very difficult" decision to close the charity.

She said there had also been difficulties recruiting staff.

"It's only a few years ago where most of our types of organisations were funded on what we call block contracts - we got our money in advance for the quarter, we provided the care, the staff were paid, our bills were paid and then we put in our monitoring reports and we got another quarter's worth of money," Ms Bond said.

"These days, almost exclusively, the money arrives after the event. The invoicing is more complex. We now have to pay all our bills and staff wages before we get the money in for the care."

It is hoped most of the staff and services in Norfolk will be transferred over to another charity, Carers Trust Cambridgeshire.

Crossroads said it hopes to do the same in Suffolk and Essex so the services there can also be saved.

The charity has a turnover of £2.7m but has posted a deficit for the past two years.