LGBT domestic violence charity Broken Rainbow has had its funding renewed by the government – despite warnings it could be cut.
The charity provides the UK’s only national domestic violence helpline for the LGBT community, and is partly funded by a rolling year-on-year government contract.
Amid government cutbacks, the charity has repeatedly warned over the past few years that its services could be at risk.
However, despite the warnings, this week the government has confirmed that Home Office will renew the charity’s funding until 2017 when Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Hussein-Ece raised the issue in the House of Lords.
A response from Home Office minister Lord Bates confirmed: “The Government is committed to tackling domestic violence and abuse.
“Broken Rainbow plays an important role in supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender victims of domestic abuse, and the Home Office has informed Broken Rainbow that it will be renewing funding to support its helpline for 2016/17.”
Baroness Hussein-Ece, the party’s equalities spokesperson, told PinkNews in a statement: “I am pleased that following my question, the government have extended the funding for a further year.
“However, with all these funding arrangements, long term planning needs to be a priority for the Home Office and keeping charities on tenterhooks each year regarding funding announcements cannot be helpful to the work of the charities involved.”
Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett, Chair of the LGBT+ Lib Dems added: “Thankfully the funding for one particular charity, Broken Rainbow has been extended for a further year.”
However, he questioned the renewal of services lasting just one year, warning that “charities are having to worry about income and providing front line services due to this uncertainty”, warning about the decline of other LGBT+ charities.
A coalition of HIV charities recently banded together to warn about ‘disastrous’ cuts to HIV prevention and support budgets across the country.
As a result of cuts to local government spending, a number of local councils have cut or scaled back their HIV services.
In some of the most extreme cases, as in Oxfordshire, the local council has cut the entirety of the £50,000 HIV Prevention and Support budget, meaning the service relied on by hundreds of people will close.
Services have also been drastically cut in Bexley and Bromley, Portsmouth, Slough, and Bracknell – amounting to over £200,000 in lost funding for services between the councils.
Although the councils claim that alternatives to the local services are available on the NHS, the charity coalition warned that the scaling-back will leave many HIV-positive people without vital support.