A CHARITY which provides care and support for the borough's elderly says it is facing a bleak future after all its council funding was cut.

Age UK Waltham Forest - formerly Age Concern Waltham Forest - has been told contracts for its work, totalling almost half a million pounds, will not be renewed when they expire at the end of April.

Sheena Dunbar, chief executive of the group, said its information and advice service would transfer to another provider, but services such as crisis prevention and support visits to isolated older people diagnosed with a terminal illness were "in jeopardy".

However she insisted the charity would be able to survive the cut.

She said: "It's very, very serious and we're very concerned about what this means for older people in Waltham Forest.

"We were already operating on a shoe-string and now we've got to work very hard to find a way just to continue."

She added: "we have provided a safety net for older people for twenty eight years and we expect more calls, not less, in the coming year because of service cuts, changes to services and rising costs that older people have to meet.

"Of course, we have sympathy for the Government and the council, who have to make cuts, and we did expect our funding to be cut - but we did not expect all of our contracts to be withdrawn, given our track record over the years."

The charity's home support service will not be affected.

It comes just days after the council revealed proposals to close two care homes in Waltham Forest.

A report by the authority said the Flaxen Road home in Chingford and Francis House in Beaconsfield Road, Walthamstow, could be shut, with the money being saved used to refurbish and expand the borough's other three council-run homes.

The Guardian is awaiting a comment from the council.

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