Donnington Doorstep Drop-In hit by drastic cuts
We are very sad to announce that our Family Drop-In service is facing a major reduction in 2017. From the week commencing 30th January, our Drop-In service will be available only on Wednesdays from 10am to 1pm.
This news is due to the impossibility of finding replacement funding for the service following the withdrawal of Oxfordshire County Council’s financial support in March 2016. Our dedicated management team worked tirelessly through last year, exploring many funding options. But while we have secured sufficient funding to maintain our specialist services, our open access Drop-In sessions are another story.
In August 2016 we took the hard decision to close our Saturday sessions, and in October we closed our weekday afternoon sessions. These latest cuts mean that our drop-in service will have reduced by 87% by the end of this financial year.
We are devastated by this loss, and by the impact it will have on our staff and volunteers. We are privileged to have a wonderful and diverse team, who have been working with determination and dedication amidst uncertainty.
Many of Donnington Doorstep’s services will continue – our family support work, our youth work, our specialist Child Sexual Exploitation service, our Pre-School – and we are very grateful to the funders and individual donors who continue to make that possible. But we know that our weekday Drop-In service and Cafe are a key way that people get to know us as an organisation, and we are bitterly disappointed at this reduction.
Christine Simm, Chair of Donnington Doorstep trustees, gave the following statement:
"It is heart-breaking to have to announce that we can no longer provide our daily Drop-In, and from the end of this month will only be able to open our doors for half a day per week.
The Drop-In is the heart of Doorstep; for more than three decades we have offered a friendly welcome, fantastic play opportunities, fun, delicious food and support to local families. Friendships made at Doorstep last a lifetime, strengthening family life and our communities. At a time when all the children's centres in the City and County are going to be closing their doors, Doorstep offers the only accessible, free open door service for families with babies, toddlers and young children.
We are now facing the greatest crisis we have ever confronted; I would appeal to all parents, grandparents and carers who have come to Doorstep and loved it to get behind us in our campaign to 'Save Doorstep Drop-In'. The alternative is too devastating to contemplate".
To join the campaign to Save Doorstep Drop-In, email firstname.lastname@example.org and keep an eye on our website for updates. We are holding a Crisis AGM on Wednesday 18 January at 7pm at our Centre near Donnington Bridge, on Townsend Square, OX4 4BB.
Of course now more than ever we need your financial support to keep our core services going while we fight to save Doorstep’s Drop-In. To donate, simply head to www.donnington-doorstep.org.uk/support-us/give-money .