Synergy has been forced to make cuts to their programing for 2017 after a reduction in funding.
“It’s not going to be a reduction in quality,” said Synergy Executive Director Patty Sproule, “It’s going to be a reduction in quantity.”
Synergy will be receiving about $103,000 less in funding this year.
“Which is huge for a small not for profit like ours,” said Sproule.
These cuts are coming after a year of growth for Synergy in 2016.
“Our population within all of our populations grew significantly,” she said, “our connections with community partners grew significantly.”
The most significant cuts are to Synergy’s One to One Youth Wellness Education Mentorship which is being reduced in scope.
They are also unable to run a planned pilot program for a Youth LGBTQ support program.
“Because we don’t have the funding we won’t be piloting it,” said Sproule.
From working with community partners such as Alberta Health Services, schools, churches and local youths, Synergy has determined there is a need for an LGBTQ support program in Chestermere.
“There’s no sense starting it and…giving them false hope it’s going to be there when it’s not, she said.”
The other program being cut is Homework Helpers which despite a successful pilot program in 2016 will not be continuing in 2017 due to lack of funding.
If new sources of funding are found, Synergy will look at restarting both of these programs.
The Homework Helpers pilot cost about $3,600 and the LGBTQ would cost about $8,400.
Sproule said that even though Synergy relies on volunteers there are still costs involved in running their programs.
“Any volunteers need to be recruited they need to be screened there’s marketing to do all of that…they need and deserve training and coordination,” she said.
All that work takes staff time and funding.
Synergy is funded through donations and grants from several sources.
One of the biggest funders is Chestermere Family and Community Support Services (FCSS)
In 2016 FCSS saw a one-time increase in funding and had surplus funding from 2015 that was used to fund Synergy.
“This funding cut has been a…huge blow,” said Sproule.
Like almost all non-profits Synergy is constantly looking for new and secure sources of funding.
“We are always, always looking for other funding sources,” she said.
Despite the cuts, Sproule is still optimistic about the future for Synergy.
“I think our programs are going to be even better in 2017,” she said.
She stressed that they have chosen to make reductions in the number of programs, not the quality of the programs run this year.