Funding for Orthodox charity axed

By Jessica Elgot, December 9, 2010
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An Orthodox charity which provides complementary therapies in north west London must close operations this month after its grant was axed.

Talking Matters, which provides counselling, arts and relaxation therapy for the Orthodox community in Stamford Hill, will close its sister project Talking Hands, based in Temple Fortune.

The charity received a grant of around £20,000 from London Councils to expand in 2008 and provide services to Harringey, Brent and Barnet.

It was based in Temple Fortune Health Centre. But in September, shortly after the project was up and running, the grant was pulled and operations will close before the end of the year.

Director and founder José Martin said: "It was annoying because we spent three years building it up. This is counterproductive, it's a huge waste of public money and people's time. We have worked so hard and even until two weeks ago we were still getting GP referrals."

The group's Hackney operations are funded by the local Primary Care Trust. Ms Martin added: "The government says that charities like us should start charging for their services but we've been charging for six years. We charge £5 per person per hour, whether it's one to one or group work. Now, for our Hackney operations, come April 2011 it will have to go up to £7.50."

    Last updated: 12:12pm, December 9 2010