Work is restarting on Faith in Families’ £1m St Teilo’s development after the Christmas break, but time is running out for you to have your say on how important the charity’s work is as it fights for the future of its Swansea centres.
Communities secretary Carl Sargeant has said he is minded to phase out the anti-poverty Communities First programme, which provides the bulk of Faith in Families’ funding for the Bonymaen, Clase and Penplas centres.
The Welsh Government has been inviting views from members of the public, but the deadline for the online consultation is January 15.
Faith in Families’ CEO Cherrie Bija has written to Mr Sargeant, saying: “Without confirmation of any continuation funding the redundancy process will begin in January 2017, in order for the centres to fulfil their contractual obligations to employees.
“With no further funding, services in the three family centres will end on March 31, 2017. Therefore an exit strategy will need to be developed with the community at the start of 2017. We have a number of vulnerable families with complex needs accessing multiple services in our centres, as well as children accessing childcare in order for parents to work.
“Closing these centres will have a high impact on these communities and therefore we would need to provide as much notice as possible.”
People have also been sharing their stories about how their lives have been transformed by Faith in Families’ network of family centres.
One, Cheryl, said: “After the birth of my youngest daughter, I became very unhappy at home. Suffering from post-natal depression, I felt isolated and alone after having to give up work in a local supermarket to look after her. I lacked motivation and resigned myself to being a stay at home mum.
“I first visited the Family Centre in Clase in 2009, after seeing a leaflet at my local post office. Little did I know then how the family centre, would turn my life around completely. The family centre manager understood how I felt and suggested I attended some classes that they were running in self-confidence, whilst they provided a safe secure environment for my child to be cared for. I met other parents from my area and my daughter thrived there.
“In late 2010, the family centre arranged for Swansea University to come and talk to some of the parents about courses. That day I signed up to study a degree in Humanities. Without the Family Centre I would not have had the self-confidence to even think about it. Throughout the degree I was able to be a Class Representative and a Swansea University Ambassador, encouraging others who were in a similar position to myself to enter courses as a way out of isolation and poverty.
“In July 2016, I graduated with First Class Honours and am now currently studying towards a Master’s degree in Research at Swansea University, hopefully going on to a PHD next year.
“Without the family centre this would not have been possible.
You can have your say here.