Funding lifeline for brain injury sufferers

A GROUP of brain injury sufferers have been given a six month lifeline after their support service was axed by the council.

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Glasgow City Council withdrew funding for the Momentum Skills and Pathways programmes after saying they were not getting enough people into work.

Now the firm which runs the projects, the only vocational services of their kind in Glasgow, has scraped together funds to run a reduced programme for six months.

The remaining nine clients will be helped by one member of staff for two days a week, a reduction of three days and five employees.

Staff hope an agreement can be reached between Glasgow City Council and the NHS to provide further cash for the service before February next year.

Lara Moir, head of operations at Momentum Skills said: "We were very concerned about the nine service users - their was nowhere else for them to go.

"The directors took the view that they would want to put in some continuity for these people - we didn't want to just walk away for them."

"They agreed to provide a skeleton service for a limited period of time, keeping a on a member of staff to work with them."

Ms Moir said that staff are "very concerned" about the facilities available for future brain injury sufferers and are hoping to meet with NHS and council bosses to discuss the options.

James Gow, a service user from Maryhill, said: "It's a really important service and we're glad to be able to keep using it.

"It's buying us more time to find continued funding, so it's great, but it's not a permanent solution.

"We're hoping to meet the NHS and the council to talk about what else we can do, but for now it's good that we can still get some support."

The service offers support for people who have suffered trauma, including stroke, tumours and accidents, and has been described as a "lifeline" by those who use it.

A council spokesman said to date "no proposals" had been received about future funding, but added: "If any such proposals were submitted they would be considered in line with the needs and priorities of the social work service as well as value for money.

"Individuals with a brain injury can access employability services through the NHS, which we believe will deliver far more positive outcomes.

"Full information on the employability services available through the NHS has been provided to service users at Momentum, although to date none have made use of those alternative services."

hannah.rodger@eveningtimes.co.uk

Local government

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