Fine Words

A few selected extracts from some of the letters written by Arts Together supporters and some of the replies they got:

“Many small organisations, that provide essential and life changing services, manage to scrape by through a miraculous blend of commitment, passion, fund-raising and volunteers. They are now finding that even the smallest assistance they were able to get through the local authorities is being withdrawn. This may well be the last straw for organisations that have been struggling to maintain services for years.” Julia Warin – Trustee

“Arts Together is a very small charity, but to the isolated older people who attend our groups, it is a lifeline. It has to be seen to be believed how much vivacity and enthusiasm the weekly groups generate in those who might otherwise be looking only towards a lonely decline. Our older generation deserve better.” Julia Warin – Trustee

“I could not agree more that organisations like yours not only immeasurably enrich the lives of those who take part but also do their bit to help the public finances by prolonging independence and reducing dependence on health and social services. That, in fact, is what the Big Society is all about – celebrating, encouraging and rewarding volunteerism.” John Glen – MP for Salisbury

“The council leadership recently held a series of public budget presentations across the county at which it was promised that both the overall spend on contributions to charitable and voluntary organisations and on subsidised bus routes were to be maintained at current levels for at least the next three years, while spending on adult social care was to double.” John Glen – MP for Salisbury

“This is in a climate where we are reliant on charitable funds from trusts whose income has declined as a result of the recession and where increasingly we are competing against charities which have previously been funded from statutory sources. In over 20 years of fund-raising I don’t think I have ever been faced by such a dismal proposition. It doesn’t have to be like this.” Margaret Cleverley – Volunteer Fund-raiser

“The Government has decided to prioritise the NHS, schools, security, and the infrastructure that will help our economy grow. But in order to do so, savings must be made elsewhere. As far as possible, these savings will be made through improvements in efficiency – but the Government has had to make some difficult decisions too. Budgets from all Government and local Government departments are being cut in order to save money.” Edward Nurick – Parliamentary Researcher

“Your financial cuts have just resulted in Wiltshire Council cutting all the transport to my mum’s group. She has dementia and the stimulation she gets from attending this group seems to improve her mental functioning – there is neuro-science involved, something to do with pleasure hormones improving the firing of neurones. Please rethink your cuts to Wiltshire Council – don’t tell me it’s their choice what they cut – they’re your cuts.” Janet – daughter of group member