A service for people with learning difficulties described as never “been more necessary” during the pandemic has been axed by Powys County Council after funding dried up.
For more than 30 years, A Voice for You has provided advocacy support to adults with learning difficulties in Montgomeryshire, but it will end on September 30 with a local mental health charity, Ponthafren, charged with picking up the pieces.
The organisation has trained and supported volunteers to befriend and advocate for citizens in the community.
“Never has the work and efforts of our advocates been more necessary than in the last 18 months with national data showing that those with physical and learning disabilities have borne the brunt of this pandemic,” Powys County Council (PCC) said in a statement.
But despite this, without core funding from PCC said the charity is not financially sustainable.
“The trustee board has been working closely with another local charity, Ponthafren Association, and is delighted to announce that on closure of A Voice for You, much of this work will continue to be supported by Ponthafren,” PCC stated.
“The trustee board are optimistic that measures have been put in place to ensure our volunteer advocates and their partners will continue to receive the support and expert guidance they need.
“The trustees of A Voice for You would like to thank our amazing volunteers, staff and those who have given their support in so many ways over such a long period of time.”
Ponthafren said it will be working closely with all involved to ensure the right support is provided alongside a comprehensive activity timetable. With Ponthafren’s recent purchase of the Armoury in Welshpool and their dedicated staff, volunteers, and the wider community across three areas of North Powys, they they were “excited” with the new venture.
The decision by the Council to change the existing grant funding arrangement is part of a wider advocacy programme. The Council said it endeavours to fully utilise the wide range of community and voluntary sector groups and organisations in Powys to support and meet the holistic and broad advocacy and social requirements.