A POPULAR group which helped young adults with special needs has closed after 16 years, after it became impossible to raise sufficient funds to keep afloat.
Special Needs Action for Careers (SNAC) held a farewell party in Uxbridge last week to mark the end of the resource for young adults with learning difficulties in Hillingdon.
The charity was set up in 1992 by a group of professionals and parents to provide work experience, part time employment and a drop-in centre.
From the early days of starting a coffee shop at Christ Church, Belmont Road, Uxbridge, it had gone on to provide a buffet service for local organisations and for the last year ran the café at Brookfield Adult Education Centre.
SNAC also sold art and crafts made by members and ran a shopping service for housebound Hillingdon residents from their base at Beasleys Yard.
Last week some supporters claimed their demise was due to being unable to reach a satisfactory agreement about fees paid by the London Borough of Hillingdon within the time constraints, but this was denied.
Brian Doughty, Hillingdon Council's Interim Head of Social Care, said: "SNAC provided a very valuable service to young adults in Hillingdon and the council had planned a meeting with them in March to discuss the future of the organisation.
"This meeting was cancelled by SNAC as a decision had already been made by them to cease operations.
"Prior to this meeting, the council had already agreed an increase in fees for services used from April with a further increase in September of this year. "
SNAC trustee Richard Bristow said: "It is not helpful to say it's anyone's fault. Although SNAC has been a valued resource, as trustees we couldn't see more money going out than coming in.
"I feel sorry for the clients we have had to let go as there was a super relationship between them and the workers at SNAC.
"Fundamentally we had a good relationship with the council but we didn't work it."
At the party SNAC trustees thanked their supporters, including volunteers, parents, advisors and fundraisers as well as the trustees of Christ Church which provided a base in the centre of Uxbridge at a reduced rent for the first few years, and later its kitchens to run the coffee shop.