A local charity that has supported thousands of people to secure employment and make life changes have disclosed they are facing a funding crisis.
Over the last 16 years Acumen Community Enterprise Development Trust’s dedicated staff have supported many thousands of East Durham residents to overcome personal barriers, develop new skills, improve their health & wellbeing and ultimately secure employment.
In the last 3 months alone with funding from The Peoples Postcode Lottery the Charity has supported 53 local unemployed people to secure employment.
Pat Thoms CEO of Acumen said “over the last few years, we have faced a real challenge to find contracts to financially support the charity in providing these services to a point where we now face a time where very little funding is available and we have to consider the future of the organisation.
Because of these external factors the Trusts Board, with the agreement of the Senior Management Team, has taken the decision to cease delivery of all services from July 31st 2019 when the current contracts end, unless a donor or sponsor can be found”
The charity has been a cornerstone for the East Durham Community for many years and has built a strong reputation for supporting anyone who walks through their doors.
Donna Wilkinson who is currently being supported by staff at Acumen said “I was absolutely heartbroken to hear the news about Acumen, I don’t know what I would have done without their help and support over the last 2 years. When I first came to Acumen I wasn’t in the best place, I lacked confidence and rarely left the house, they have given me a life line, I am a changed person. I don’t know what I will do without their support I’ve come a long way but still have a long way to go. Acumen will be a huge miss it’s not just an organisation it’s part of the community”
Ellen Foxton CEO of East Durham Partnership said “The Acumen & East Durham Partnership have helped create a significant number of employment opportunities. Acumen staff have a mass of experience of employment support and the trust of a large number of local employers. Without Acumen in East Durham there would be a huge gap in this type of specialist employment provision”
Martin Hudson from Ranstad said "I have had the pleasure of working with Acumen for almost 10 years. Acumen have proved to be an important part of my recruitment needs, supplying suitable candidates with various skill sets. The staff work hard to help secure the right candidate for me. It is really disappointing that they have been unable to secure funding to continue the good work they do in supporting local people back into employment"
If funding can not be secured, Acumen’s main office together with its walk-in support centre will close and all staff and senior management will be made redundant.