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Marlene Reed Centre Community Resource Centre 

Location: UK » East Midlands » LE

Cut: £121,000 (27%) – includes debts and benefits advice: £21,000; carers support: £32,159; community hub: £68,000

MRC has provided community services for 25 years, offering play, care, training, advice and furniture re-use. Last year, its debt advice worker dealt with 149 debts and helped 262 clients with benefits. Although there is still some money to deal with benefits problems, Dave Ahlquist, chief executive of MRC, says: “Requests for help with benefits usually come hand in glove with debt issues, and it will be almost impossible for the adviser to separate the two.”

Scrapping of the carers support, run by two part-time workers, means that 400 unpaid carers will no longer receive peer support. The scheme helped Sheila, a mother diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, to get a grant for a special wheelchair that fits into the family car and is much easier for her husband – her full-time carer – to use.

Although the cuts from Leicestershire county council equate to 27% of MRC’s income, Ahlquist says other cuts are still under consideration and it could lose up to 50%. “There doesn’t seem to be any joined-up thinking in the way cuts are implemented across different departments and parts of the public sector,” he says.

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