May 3, 2022 6.00 pm

Reassurances after council funding for children’s grief services not renewed

Contract won’t be renewed after 20 years

A £50,000 a year county council fund to children’s grief services in Lincolnshire is set to end in August – but council bosses say they won’t close the service.

Lincolnshire County Council is cutting future funding for the Lincolnshire Centre for Grief and Loss (LCGL) as the grant agreement reaches its deadline.

The project, run from the Carlton Centre and majority funded by the Lincolnshire Co-op, gives children and young people in the county the chance to access qualified and experienced counsellors to talk about bereavement, family separation and illness in the family.

The council has provided the funding for nearly 20 years.

Concerned parents have contacted reporters to raise fears over the service.

One “concerned citizen” emailed and said: “It is a shockingly short-sighted and dangerous decision to cut a service that has delivered so much to our children and our community and which from looking at the testimonials on their website from students, parents and teachers is highly valued.”

The Co-op say they plan to continue running it and that they work with a number of different organisations.

A spokesperson for Lincolnshire Co-op said: “We plan to continue running the Lincolnshire Centre for Grief and Loss (LCGL) as we think it is a valued service.

“We will explore how this will work going forward without the grant funding, which comes to an end in August.

“We are working with Lincolnshire County Council and other local organisations on this process.”

Lincolnshire County Council said it would work closely with LCGL to support the sustainability of the service.

They said that since the grant was first awarded, the authority had significantly increased its funding of children and young people’s emotional well-being and mental health support.

Heather Sandy, executive director for children’s services, said: “The council, in partnership with Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, funds a range of services to support young people’s mental health and emotional well-being.”

“We will keep on working to ensure that children and young people can access support, either through LCGL or one of the other services that are available.”

Services the authority uses includes Kooth.com, Healthy Minds Lincolnshire, Mental Health Support Teams and CAMHS.

The council added that it worked closely with health commissioners to ensure public funding was “used wisely” and that there were “clear, simple ways for children to receive help”.

“The council is assured that children will still get the help they need in a timely manner when the grant ends, including from LCGL,” said the statement.