Exeter Community Initiatives announces project closures and redundancies due to drop in funding

Exeter Community Initiatives (ECI) is to close two of its projects and make a number of staff redundant following a significant drop in funding.

The charity, which celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, helps people to improve wellbeing and build skills, supports families facing challenges and hardships, and helps communities to thrive.

At the end of March, ECI will close:

• Transitions which provides workshops and coaching on the practical and emotional challenges people encounter on a daily basis such as managing anxiety, budgeting and decluttering

• Exeter Connect its voluntary and community sector support service which provides advice, training, networking and events

The charity hopes to play a continued role in the Community Builders project which it manages in partnership with Wellbeing Exeter. However, the project is likely to be scale down, with staff numbers reduced.

ECI’s Jelly children’s charity shop will continue to operate as usual, as will the charity’s Family Resource project, which works with families with children aged 0-18 years facing challenges and hardships.

Tim Goodwin, Exeter Community Initiatives’ Chair of Trustees, said: “ECI has supported more than 50,000 people in the last three decades. However, like many charities, we’ve fallen victim to Covid and the cost-of-living crisis, which has seen our costs escalate and our income fall significantly.

“With no other funding on the horizon, we’ve had no choice but to close two projects resulting in cuts to our staff base. We’ve made these decisions with the heaviest of hearts and our thoughts are with those staff members affected and the people who’ve come to rely on our services.

“With a new organisational structure in place, we hope ECI can weather the economic storm and rebuild, so we can continue to help where it matters most and support people, families and communities for many more years to come.”