Worry for disabled families as FUN Bedfordshire announces ‘grave danger’ of closure

Families United Network
Families United Network

A charity which provides vital respite and daycare for Bedfordshire families with disabled children has announced that it is in “grave danger” of closing soon.

Families United Network (FUN) will host consultation events about the possible closure on Saturday, November 10, from 11am to 1pm; Monday, November 12, from 7pm to 9pm; and an emergency general meeting on Monday, November 19, from 7pm to 9pm. All events will take place at FUN’s premises at Unit 5 Britannia Estate, Leagrave Road, Luton, LU3 1RJ.

In a letter to members, chair of trustees Jo Stuart said FUN’s organisers were “devastated” by news that the charity could close by December 21.

She said: “Sadly a perfect storm of events and circumstances have led us to where we are now. Our costs have significantly increased following the sale of Britannia Estates.

“The new landlord, Petchey Holdings, have doubled the costs of the building which has been a devastating blow to our otherwise financially healthy charity. Our funding forecasts for the next two years have dropped with the withdrawal of local government support and other key grants.

“These two issues, along with our requirement to sign a new long-term lease at a much higher cost, means that it would be irresponsible and unethical for the board to commit FUN to the building longer term, without having a confirmed income source to support these costs.”

Ms Stuart said that at the time of writing, the landlord had refused any concessions and an appeal for assistance from Luton Borough Council had as yet gone unanswered.

Anyone affected by FUN’s closure can call the following numbers during normal office hours: Diane Rhodes (Charity Manager) 07880 404333, Jo Stuart (Chair of Trustees) 07815 913320 or email diane@familiesunitednetwork.org.uk.