Future of Redbridge employment charity hangs in the balance

The future of an employment charity which has helped get Redbridge residents back into work is uncertain due to council cuts.

The future of a �charity which has helped unemployed Redbridge residents find work is hanging in the balance after council cuts, its chief executive claims.

Barnabas Workshops in High Road, Ilford, was set up in 1996 by a group of Redbridge churches supporting those trying to get back into work.

Most recently the charity helped 180 �people find jobs at �Primark which opens on Wednesday in High Road, Ilford.

The council said it would cut funding the charity received by five per cent this financial year to make up part of the �25 million the council must save.

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Chief executive �Bernadette Benn said: “We don’t know what is in store for the rest of this year, we could well have to close.”

It costs on average �667 to get one unemployed person back into work.

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Barnabas receives funding from other government sources, but advisers can work with clients for up to 70 weeks before Barnabas receives payment.

Mrs Benn added: “We’ve helped thousands of people throughout the past 15 years, I know cuts have to be made but why target Barnabas when the charity has helped people back into work?”

Redbridge Council insists it remains a strong supporter.

A spokesman said: “The council recognises the important role Barnabas Workshops plays in supporting people into employment, and working with some of the most disadvantaged communities in the borough.”

The five per cent cut was “significantly �below the 10 per cent reduction for most council services”.

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