Funding crisis results in staff cuts at Fife lone parent charity

© SuppliedRhona Cunningham from Fife Gingerbread with Gingey.
Rhona Cunningham from Fife Gingerbread with Gingey.

A Fife charity has lost more than a quarter of its staff since it was hit by a “perfect storm” funding crisis in January.

Lone parent organisation Fife Gingerbread has cut worker numbers from 41 to 30, with many of those left now on reduced hours.

The Leven-based charity said the move had been necessary to protect its ability to support 250 families in need across the region.

It now faces a “continual recruitment headache” as other staff fearing redundancy seek secure employment elsewhere.

Despite the blow, chairman Ian Clark said the organisation was now very much back in business amid rising demand for its services.

“We appreciate we have a lot of work ahead of us but are still very committed to doing the very best we possibly can for families in Fife,” he said.

“We are back in business, our referral routes will be opening up again and our partnerships will strengthen.”

Gingerbread reached crisis point earlier this year and was forced to suspend new referrals when many funding streams ended and others were cut.

It was thrown a lifeline when Fife Council announced it would provide £60,000 over three years, on the condition it helped the charity become more sustainable.

Consultants Wren and Greyhound, specialists in working with the voluntary sector, have been commissioned and Mr Clark said initial discussions indicated the organisation was on the right track.

Fife Gingerbread chief executive Rhona Cunningham said: “Going public with our situation and campaigning for funding was not something we really wanted to do but we know the need for the support we deliver is immense.

“We know how devastating it would be to families if our support was suddenly not there.

“It now looks like the publicity around our crisis may pay off in the long term but there’s a long way to go for sure.”

Ms Cunningham said the charity had been inundated with support from other organisations, local businesses politicians and families who had used the service in the past.

Business manager Yvonne Moyes said: “The perfect storm was about more than just the money. It was about the people.

“We did what we can to protect jobs but sad to say we have lost some very good staff who have been applying for work elsewhere.”