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Jobs at risk at Age UK Faversham and Sittingbourne

By Poppy Jeffery

A charity which helps elderly people has told staff their jobs could be at risk and services will have to be cut.

Age UK Faversham and Sittingbourne has warned its employees roles could be axed or changed due to "a very uncertain future" regarding its finances, mainly caused by a drop in donations and money left in wills.

Staff received letters last week but it is not yet known how many people will be affected.

Services could be cut at Age UK’s Faversham and Sittingbourne branches

Its centre at Heather House, Avenue of Remembrance, Sittingbourne caters for up to 60 older people every day.

It also runs sessions at the Belle Friday Centre, London Road, Teynham, and the Paula Owen Centre, in Faversham.

The news comes after KentOnline's sister paper the Sittingbourne News Extra reported the charity had no intention of closing its Swale services, although Sue Cliffe, interim chief officer, did say it needed to make changes due to “increasing budget pressures”.

The letter received by staff from Pamela Brookes, vice chairman of the charity’s board of trustees, reads: “It is with great sadness that it has been decided to make reductions in the services the charity can offer in our area of benefit.

“It is certain that in some instances jobs will be at risk, while other job roles will need to be reviewed and amended.”

It goes on to state that support will be given to staff following the “upsetting and concerning” news.

Sue Cliffe, chief officer at Age UK Faversham and Sittingbourne

The charity’s Whitstable section announced its closure in July after similar troubles.

An Age UK Faversham and Sittingbourne spokesman said: ”Following a financial review Age UK Faversham and Sittingbourne announce with considerable regret and sadness the need to reduce some services the charity offers to older people in the area.

“The trustees together with the interim chief officer have made the decision due to the uncertainty of core funding and an increasingly challenging financial climate.

“The trustees will be taking prudent steps to safeguard services for older people where they can and would like to provide reassurance that they will make changes in a timely manner.”

Age UK Faversham and Sittingbourne was unable to confirm how many jobs are at risk and the spokesman said anyone concerned about the changes should call 01795 532766 or email reception@ageukfaversham.org.uk

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