Takeover sees charity staff demoralised
By John HowardA CHARITY worker has spoken of his concern a mental health organisation has been left demoralised after an administrative shake-up.Derek Clarke, chairman of mental health charity Mid Suffolk Mind, said it had been forced into allowing its sister organisation, East Suffolk Mind, to take the group over.
By John Howard
A CHARITY worker has spoken of his concern a mental health organisation has been left demoralised after an administrative shake-up.
Derek Clarke, chairman of mental health charity Mid Suffolk Mind, said it had been forced into allowing its sister organisation, East Suffolk Mind, to take the group over.
Mr Clarke, who said he was speaking out as an individual rather than as chairman, added: "Our main funders, Suffolk County Council social care, declared when our existing contract was set for renewal that they would stop our funding unless we agreed to allow East Suffolk Mind to take us over."
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He hoped Mid Suffolk Mind's "unique family atmosphere" would not be lost under the reorganisation, but claimed the "happy, hard-working team of professionals are now totally demoralised".
However, a spokesman for Suffolk County Council said the need for a complete review of Mid Suffolk Mind had arisen because of its long history of poor performance and erratic service delivery.
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He added: "This resulted in Mid Suffolk Mind losing its British Association of Counselling Accreditation and prompted an investigation by the Charity Commissioners.
"Although these events occurred two years ago, further internal organisational failures led the council to conclude the organisation was no longer viable and that funding could not continue unless a realistic alternative was found.
"The most acceptable option for both service users and Mind nationally was to retain the Mind identity, but for East Suffolk Mind, a larger and more robust local organisation, to take over its much smaller and less viable neighbour.
"Unfortunately, the negotiations around this takeover have been extremely protracted because of the reluctance of Mid Suffolk Mind trustees to agree to this option and the need for all parties to adopt a partnership approach to the process."
The spokesman said any organisational change of always generated anxiety, but the council was confident it was for the best.