Sheffield family support group set to fold

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An organisation which has provided ‘invaluable information and advice’ for hundreds of thousands of Sheffield families is to close.

Sheffield Information Link, based on Leopold Street in the city centre, says it will cease trading after Sheffield Council ended its contract.

Sharron Baroudi, chief executive of Sheffield Information Link, said: “It is with great sadness that after 26 years of providing a first-class service to hundreds of thousands of Sheffield families and professionals, Sheffield Information Link will close in January.

“Over the years we have operated as an independent service provider contracting with Sheffield Council, the NHS, other government departments and various other organisations.

“However, following a review of Family Information Services delivery by Sheffield Council, it has decided to follow the example of other local authorities and take our services in-house.

“This decision has put SIL out of business.”

Comments of support have been left on SIL’s Facebook page. One poster, Naomi Swain, said: “Families will suffer.”

SIL, the first organisation of its kind in Britain, has ‘provided invaluable advice and information’ on childcare, health, education, disability and holiday activities to more than 219,000 families. Sheffield Council said it wants to transfer SIL’s 14 staff in-house without job losses.