Kezia Dugdale has called on the Scottish Government to rescue a closure-threatened charity in Edinburgh that supports families raising a child with autism.
The Tailor Ed Foundation has been helping families in the capital since 2009, but has warned it may be forced to close due to funding concerns.
The Foundation has said ‘by the end of March 2018 we will have to decide whether we have sufficient funding in place to continue to operate… if we can’t raise the funds required and see a sustainable future helping families then we may be forced to close’.
The foundation has a running cost of around £215,000 each year, with the bulk of the funding coming from the Big Lottery Fund – which supported the organisation until November last year.
Labour Lothian MSP Kezia Dugdale has written to the Minister for Mental Health, Maureen Watt, asking the Scottish Government to provide the necessary funding and support to secure the future of the foundation.
Kezia Dugdale said:
“The Tailor Ed Foundation has made a life-changing difference to hundreds of families across Edinburgh for nearly a decade, supporting parents who are raising a child with autism with day-to-day challenges.
“It has helped children learn skills that most us of take for granted, such as being able to put on your shoes and brush your teeth, and being able to wait when you are in a queue.
“Without these skills, daily life can be incredibly difficult, stressful and isolating for children and their families.
“The future of the Tailor Ed Foundation is now at risk, and its closure would have a significant negative impact on families across Edinburgh.
“That’s why I’ve written to the Scottish Government, asking ministers to step in and provide the necessary funding to rescue the charity.”
More details about the Tailor Ed Foundation can be found here: http://tailoredfoundation.co.uk/#
Full text of the letter from Kezia Dugdale to Maureen Watt:
Maureen Watt MSP
Minister for Mental Health
The Scottish Government
St. Andrew’s House
Funding for the Tailor Ed Foundation
As you will be aware the future of the Tailor Ed Foundation, which supports families in Edinburgh raising a child with autism has been put at risk following an unsuccessful funding bid to the Big Lottery Fund.
The foundation has a running cost of around £215,000 each year, and this is made up from three main funding streams which are grants from various charitable trusts, where the bulk of the funding came from the Big Lottery Fund as well as smaller grants from other funds including the Scottish Government’s Autism Development Fund, secondly, donations and fundraising from families and friends of Tailor Ed and a thirdly an income from the organisation training service.
The Big Lottery funding was in place to support the organisation until November 2017 and the foundation now are relying on reserves which will support the organisation in the short term until the end of March 2018, by which time sufficient funds will need to be in place for the foundation to continue operating.
A number of constituents have written to me over recent weeks with first-hand accounts of how much support they have received from the foundation and what a significant role the services have played in supporting so many families across the Edinburgh area who have children with Autism.
My colleague Daniel Johnson MSP has lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament in support of the Foundation which I have signed and will be encouraging other Members to support in seeking to build a collation of support behind the organisation.
The loss of the Tailor Ed Foundation would have a considerable negative impact on my constituents and I write to ask the Scottish Government to provide the necessary funding and support in order to assist in securing the future of the foundation.
Kezia Dugdale MSP
Scottish Labour MSP for the Lothian Region