The umbrella organisation for the Charedi voluntary sector has introduced charges for its services.
Previously, organisations using the Interlink Foundation have paid an annual membership fee, depending on their income, ranging from £25 to £95. All Interlink services were then free.
Now the foundation, with offices in Stamford Hill and Manchester, has introduced charges of between £40 and £60 an hour in a move intended to secure its future.
According to Chaya Spitz, who is soon to take over as Interlink director: “We have always been funded by short-term limited grants and by donors.
“At some point the grants were going to run out and that has happened.
“Over the past two years, our grant income has dropped. Whereas the government awarded us 70 per cent of our income, now they provide only 30 per cent. We have come to the inevitable conclusion that the costs of the services we provide have to be borne by the sector.
She added: “There was a question at one point as to whether we would have to scale down significantly, to become half of our current size. That then begs more questions about how it would actually work.”
Mrs Spitz stressed that organisations which could not afford to pay would not be charged. Interlink needed “to protect those groups”.
At Interlink’s annual meeting last week, Charles Keidan, director of the Pears Foundation — one of Interlink’s donors — called for more research on where resources should be directed in the community. The aim was to ensure those in the greatest need received priority.
The foundation was involved in talks about taking that forward.