Charities and Cutbacks

The Stroke Association decided to have a Q&A session on Facebook today, and I couldn’t help but be a little mischievous and ask them how many people they were firing on account of local authority cutbacks as they rebudget in April.

My local coordinator is being made redundant at the end of March because our local council is reducing its support, and I can’t imagine that Wiltshire Council is unique amongst UK councils. Nor do I imagine that the Stroke Association is unique among charities – organisations across the whole spectrum must be taking a hit.

I do find it particularly sad that, as the NHS itself delivers less and less, so too are charities being forced to do less because of funding cuts.

Unfortunately I never got a direct answer to my question, instead they fobbed me off, saying that the services offered by the charity would continue (so, by that logic, the people they’re getting rid of were sat on their hands in any case!), and inviting me to join some campaign mailing list.

Why is this kind of stuff not on the news in the evening? Why aren’t the Stroke Association being more vocal? Charities in general? I can buy that they want to keep the charity focused on the primary purpose of healthcare rather than on the politics surrounding it, but are the two not intertwined? One of the reasons I have always had an interest in politics – your basic values of right and wrong – is that it spills over into absolutely everything.

I must admit, I am less inclined to spend my time to help the charity, when they just appear to be rolling over. I’m not necessarily saying that you need to march the streets in protest, but at the very least you can point out the consequences of these cuts, and to let people judge for themselves whether they agree with them.

Is it that the people who care about these cuts are just the people who use the charities, and the majority of the population just don’t care?

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