Chief executive of Norfolk charity Nelson’s Journey hits out at NHS cuts
The chief executive of a local charity has hit out at government cuts that he says are creating 'immense pressure' on his organisation.
Colin Lang, chief executive of bereaved children's charity Nelson's Journey, based in Thorpe St Andrew, has criticised government cuts to NHS bereavement services after seeing the charity's workload almost double.
Last year the charity received 242 referrals of bereaved children, but with just six months of this year gone it has already received over 210.
The charity has seen an increase in referrals from statutory agencies, such as an NHS-led bereavement support service which had its funding cut and had more focus on pre-bereavement support, meaning post-bereavement referrals are being diverted to Nelson's Journey.
Mr Lang, who was made an MBE following his success in setting up the SOS Bus in Norwich, has spoken to Norwich MPs Chloe Smith and Simon Wright about his concerns recently.
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He said: 'I have met with the NHS commissioner and head of child and adolescent mental health services who have informed me that there is no money in the budget to support children and young people with bereavement needs.
'Nelson's Journey had an income of �206,000 at the end of 2011 and it cost us �202,921 to support the 242 bereaved children and young people during that year.
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'We hope that the government will recognise the importance of supporting child mental health services like Nelson's Journey and whilst we raise awareness of this we continue to be challenged by managing the immense pressure the organisation is currently under.'
Anyone interested in supporting Nelson's Journey can call 01603 431788 or go to www.nelsonsjourney.org.uk
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