HIV Charity closure seems to be result of devolution

The Tyddyn Bach Trust respite centre in Penmaenmawr in Wales which has provided much-needed respite care for over 2,000 individuals and families affected by HIV since 1997 closed its doors.

As a former trustee of Northern Ireland’s leading HIV charity, The HIV Support Centre, I have some idea of how difficult it can be to get funding from health authorities and others to support your work.

The MP for Aberconwy, Guto Bebb, said that it was a tragedy the centre had to close. He suggested that the closure is an unintended result of devolution within the United Kingdom.

Clients coming from England means the centre doesn’t qualify for funding from Wales and they don’t get funding from England because they’re based in Wales. It’s bizarre.

Whilst I hope that the Trustees will be able to find more funding to enable them to reopen at some point in the future, it may be that they will have to take the Trust in a new direction. All Trustees of all organisations must look to ensure that they are functioning sustainably. It seems to me that there has been a major growth in the number of charitable organisations that seem to be chasing after the same pots of money from statutory bodies. Perhaps it really is time – even in this time of austerity – for everyone in the United Kingdom to think again about giving some of their income to charitable bodies. If we don’t, there will be more closures of charities in the days, weeks, and months to come.

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