Maida Vale charity faces battle for survival after funding cuts

A Westminster charity for adults with learning difficulties is facing a fight for survival after �165,000 of cuts.

Pursuing Independent Paths (PIP), of Shirland Mews, Maida Hill, work to help adults with learning difficulties live independently.

They are launching a bid for new private supporters after more than a quarter of their �450,000 annual budget was wiped out in funding cuts.

Director Bill Feeney said: “If we can’t find the private donors we need, we absolutely risk not surviving. It’s a very dangerous time and we are very concerned about it.

“We are trying to be as dynamic as we can in a difficult climate. We are looking for new private funders so we can move away from being reliant on grants.”

Mr Feeney says hundreds of disabled adults in Westminster found themselves without support, after the council ‘reclassified’ them as not disabled in 2011.

He said: “As part of the cuts Westminster reassessed their eligibility criteria for support, so people who might have eligible in the past now don’t have funding.

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“We have said it doesn’t matter what social services say, you will always receive support at PIP.

“Our help is more important than ever, the users would become isolated without it.”

They are launching a campaign to boost fundraising, which begins with an 18-mile sponsored bike ride in the Chilterns on October 20, ending with a BBQ at a brewery.

The charity, established in 1984, work with more than 70 adults with learning disabilities, the vast majority based in Westminster.

They focus on teaching life skills necessary for independent living, such as using public transport and a mobile phone.