17 Oct 2012

24-hour helplines at risk from funding cuts, says PSA

8:00 pm on 17 October 2012

The Public Service Association says government funding cuts are hitting crucial services such as 24-hour helplines.

The HELP Foundation, which provides Auckland's only 24-hour rape and sexual assault helpline, has a funding shortfall of about $200,000.

The PSA's national secretary, Brenda Pilott, says as a result the foundation is going to have to lay off staff and cut services, which means a reduction in phone counselling and callout services.

She says the Government needs to pay real attention to services like this and make sure they have funding they can rely on year to year, instead of always having to seek donations - which is not sustainable.

Ms Pilott says it is often vulnerable people who miss out in these situations.