The future of a lifeline city charity is in serious jeopardy after hopes for a funding injection of nearly half a million pounds has fallen through.
The Tailor Ed Foundation, which offers vital practical support to autistic children and their families, had hoped to secure £405,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.
But charity bosses announced the bid had failed and the future provision for families throughout the city now hangs in the balance.
Project manager Roo Philip said a handful of funding applications were still pending but the charity were hoping for a miracle.
“We have a little bit of time to try and come up with a contingency plan and figure out a way forward and we are putting all of our effort and energy into securing new funding.
“The fund was needed to cover our core costs for the next three years in order to continue our work and allow us to re-open to referrals. We’re all devastated by this news as not only does it prevent us from making the improvements to our services we’d hoped to but it puts our whole survival in jeopardy.”
More than 200 families access the charity which needs at least £100,000 to avert a funding crisis.
Service user Elizabeth Anderton said Tailor Ed had changed her life. Her 14-year-old son William has severe learning disabilities and autism and Elizabeth said without the charity’s intervention, he wouldn’t be able to live at home.
“He would be in some sort of special home and as mother I wouldn’t have recovered from that. I cried when I heard the news – not so much for me but for other families.”
The charity provides hyper-practical solutions which Elizabeth said transformed their lives. “William can now use sign language, he can put his shoes on, he can visit the dentist. These were all things that nobody seemed to be able to tell us how to do. We were just drowning before Tailor Ed stepped in. They actually get down and work with your child and then they fix it.
“As a parent, as a member of the public and as a taxpayer I feel genuinely devastated that something so successful and so special is going to be lost.”