Northampton human rights charity to make all staff redundant after cutbacks

Anjona Roy, chief executive of Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council
Anjona Roy, chief executive of Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council

About 100 discriminated people a year face injustice in Northampton after a charity announced its intention to close, campaigners have warned.

Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council carries out specialist casework in the area of equality and human rights, including in the workplace, every year.

But a succession of funding cuts, both from councils and organisations that receive NREC training and advice, has left it with a dwindling income and facing closure.

Its team funded by the Heritage Lottery will run out of money within weeks, and two remaining members of staff, who are based in Booth Lane, will lose their jobs on December 31. NREC has now launched a donations page in a last ditch effort to save itself.

Chief executive Anjona Roy said: "To be frank, it's death by a thousand cuts.

"When I started working here 13 years ago our budget was four or five times what we are left with now."

NREC, which was established 40 years ago, is the only source of specialist human rights advice in Northamptonshire.

Far from demand for its help declining, the reduction in funding has come as reports of hate crimes are on the rise.

Meanwhile, a law change that has made tribunals cheaper for complainants to pursue has seen a surge in wronged workers asking NREC for advice.

And disability discrimination, NREC's most popular area of casework, with about 100 complainants every year, remains high.

"These are people who would otherwise have to put up with injustice."

If NREC fails to raise £40,000 the charity will continue to exist until its current funnding runs out in March 2019, but will be unable to offer services.