Parental support charity closes after 20 years

Wiltshire Times: Chief executive Linda Cantillon-Guyatt, with colleagues Carol Robbs, Kim Law and Margaret Harrison Chief executive Linda Cantillon-Guyatt, with colleagues Carol Robbs, Kim Law and Margaret Harrison

A Wiltshire charity has been forced to close, after 20 years of provided advice and support to parents and carers across the county.

Ask Wiltshire provided a dedicated information service covering issues from childcare and play groups to support classes and holiday activities from its Steeple Ashton base.

The charity’s trustee confirmed they had taken the decision to fold following a reduction in funding. It stopped providing services on March 31, and will formally close on June 30.

Chief executive Linda Cantillon-Guyatt said: “It has been a painful decision.

“I have been involved with the organisation for 20 years and together with a dedicated team I was determined to fight to the very end, but there comes a time when it is no longer viable to struggle on, and that point has now been reached.

“The phone lines are now silent and where once there were skilled staff answering calls and providing help there are now just empty desks.  It is very sad.”

Chairman Liz Garrett said: “It is sad that an organisation which has provided vital services to help parents and carers has become a casualty of changes to the way that voluntary organisations are funded and contracts awarded.

“The Trustees of ask hope that parents and carers in Wiltshire will continue to get the information, support and advice they need through the arrangements that are now in place for that.

“We believe that the work of ask over the past two decades will be recognised as an important and valuable community service which is a great loss to the county.”

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