Cash boost for bereavement charity Suffolk Cruse after three-month suspension due to funding crisis

The Labour group at Suffolk County Council provides Suffolk Cruse with funding. Picture: Suffolk Cou

The Labour group at Suffolk County Council provides Suffolk Cruse with funding. Picture: Suffolk County Council - Credit: Suffolk County Council

A charity boss has thanked councillors for a much-needed cash boost as it fights in an “ongoing struggle to survive”.

Suffolk Cruse, which supports bereaved people in the county, had to stop taking in new clients between July and September 2016 because of serious financial difficulties due to funding cuts.

After a full budget review the charity, which is formed of four branches, Suffolk Coastal, Ipswich, North Suffolk & Great Yarmouth and West Suffolk, has been able to stay afloat.

As of October 1 last year, Suffolk Cruse again started taking in new service users, but its financial situation remains precarious as there is a lack of sustainable or statutory cash flow.

The Ipswich branch is currently working out of offices provided for free by the East of England Funeral Services.

The Labour group at Suffolk County Council has now provided the charity with more than £5,700 to train the Ipswich team in using a new information system.

Elizabeth Murphy, chairwoman of Ipswich Cruse, said: “The funding provided to us by the Labour group will make a big difference in our ongoing struggle to survive.

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“To enable all volunteers and staff to use the computer system, all clients will be entered on the database ensuring that detailed information is available. The information for statistical purposes will be held centrally, ensuring that we have up to date information for our funders and for our promotion of our service and development.

“If Cruse is more efficient at digital record keeping, we will be able to apply to more funders. With more funders, we are more likely to keep this service running for vulnerable people in Ipswich.”

The money will also be used on those clients who are waiting to be seen following the charity’s three-month break.

Suffolk county councillor Mandy Gaylard said the Labour group was “delighted” to offer the charity funds to ensure it can continue its “valuable work”.

She added: “The service that Cruse provides to the community goes beyond monetary value.”