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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Mental health charity closes after council cuts funding

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Social enterprise shuts after it fails to win re-tendering

A mental health charity in Aberdeen has closed after the council cut its funding – leaving dozens of service users facing uncertainty.

Social Enterprise Send-it closed its doors after 45 years, following a decision by Aberdeen City Council to cut its funding.

The charity, which is based on John Street, Aberdeen, provides support for adults recovering from mental health difficulties, helping them into employment, education and volunteering decreasing their risk of social isolation.

Ten service users will be affected by the closure, as well as three members of staff.

On average the charity helps 25 people each year with disabilities.

Funding was reduced by half last year after a retendering exercise by the council.

We have supported so many people over the years and it’s been most rewarding to watch them grow and develop as individuals

The charity has been run at a loss since and after a period of looking for alternative solutions, Send-it began to wind down in May, after finding new placements for 15 of its service users.

Enterprise manager Jenny Thomson told TFN: “I’ve worked at Send-it for the last seven years and it’s very sad that it has come to this.

“We have supported so many people over the years and it’s been most rewarding to watch them grow and develop as individuals.

“It’s devastating news.

“We were fortunate that we had a bit of time on our side and we did everything we could to find another solution.

“Unfortunately, that didn’t work out and in the end we had no alternative but to close.

"We’re relieved that we were able to find suitable placements for 10 service users who we were supporting, but the closure will still impact on a further 15 people with mental health disabilities and staff.”

Send-it was founded by Grampian Health Board in 1969 and became a Social Enterprise in 2001. Trading under the name Printability, it provided printing and mailing services to businesses, as well as work experience for people with mental health difficulties.

It rebranded in 2009 to Send-it, when it changed its position to focus more on mailing and fulfilment solutions for e-commerce businesses.

It was the only accredited mailing house in the North East of Scotland.