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Charities 'streamlined due to cuts'

Charities are axing jobs and services and some risk closing down because of Government cuts, new research has revealed.

A study of more than 100 charities in England and Wales showed that two thirds were cutting frontline services and three out of four were making staff redundant.

One in 10 said they risked closing down next year, said the report by the New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) think tank and insurance firm Zurich.

Most charities were drafting in more volunteers and almost half were collaborating with other charities.

A third of the charities' funding comes from Government sources and most of those polled said they faced a riskier future.

Dan Corry, NPC's chief executive, said: "This is a time of radical change for charities. Not only are they coping with some of the biggest spending cuts in British history, but the landscape is also changing fast.

"As the state pulls back we are seeing a real shift in the way public services are commissioned and delivered. Our survey suggests some charities will be able to gear up to play a bigger role, but we think others will find it tough and will go under.

"It's vitally important that we understand these changes and act now to ensure that their impact on the voluntary sector and the people they help is positive, not detrimental."

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: "We know it is a very challenging environment for charities, especially those dependent on taxpayer funding. The sector cannot be immune from cuts but at the same time we are opening up more opportunities for charities to help us deliver better public services.

"Through interventions like Big Society Capital and a new Investment and Contract Readiness Fund we are helping ambitious charities access the capital they need to expand their services."

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