Moray Anchor project faces closure with loss of eight jobs

Support at the Horizons Centre looks set to end in March.
Support at the Horizons Centre looks set to end in March.

A PROJECT THAT has been providing support for vulnerable adults is set to close as their funding is withdrawn by Moray Council.

For the last 25 years the eight members of staff at the Anchor Project has providing drop-in sessions for around 80 people suffering from mental illnesses.

All now face redundancy as the Elgin-based project learns they will lose the support of Moray Council – forcing the Horizons Resource Centre on Duffus Road to close down in March.

Moray Council say that mental health services in the region are not being cut – claiming that funding would be allocated in a different way as part of a “restructuring and modernisation” of services.

The local authority has added that this would lead to improvements in service as they put out to tender the work currently being undertaken by Anchor, which is registered as the Moray Association of Mental Health Ltd.

As well as the drop-in sessions the charity operates the ‘Step Forward’ scheme from the Pinefield Industrial Estate in Elgin, providing skills training.

“It is a shame – we clearly need to support our clients in how they are going to manage when our services close in March,” charity manager Helen Milnes said, adding that everyone was “shocked and quite upset” when learning that their funding was to be withdrawn.

She added: “We are not entirely sure what will happen – the council has decided to put the service specification out to tender, they are looking for something a bit different.”

A Moray Council spokesman said: “We are aware of the value placed on Horizon and Step Forward in keeping people mentally well. We are working closely with skilled staff and volunteers from the two services to support people through this eight-month transition period – anyone who needs ongoing help will get it.”