TIMES are tough – and getting tougher by the day for many charities.

Many are having to come up with all kinds of innovative ways to find the funding to continue delivering their services.

Some are succeeding – as highlighted with the return of the inspirational Steve Morgan Foundation Entrepreneur Awards (see centre pages of our autumn issue)

Sadly, not all charities can do so – as in the case of Merseyside Network for Change, who have lost their battle for survival (page2)

The irony here is that for the past 18 years this Liverpool charity helped lots of other charities with their governance and funding issues (including All Together NOW!), and yet, despite the last few years of constant appeals for grants, they were just unable to help themselves.

Competition for funding is now as fierce as it’s ever been and we, too, are now finding life extremely challenging.

Since launching in 2005, we’ve been incredibly lucky to have had the magnificent support of our sponsors – the Steve Morgan Foundation, United Utilities Park Group and DaVinci Mobility – who all understand the value of getting specific and relevant news to the hundreds of thousands of people in the North West who are affected by disability and ill health and who have no other way of accessing such vital information.

We also very much appreciate the help from lots of other businesses and charitable foundations that have been covering our printing costs.

But running a FREE newspaper – and one on the scale of All Together NOW! – is a costly business. We’ve survived this long mainly through the support from our sponsors, advertising revenue, and a few grants.

We’d hoped that your fantastic response  to our Reader Survey would have helped us secure funding from the Big Lottery’s Reaching Communities programme and other funders. Unfortunately, our applications have so far come up against other high quality submissions.

We now face a very uncertain future – and all of the team here are exploring all options to keep this paper alive.

Rest assured, we will fight on for as long as we can.

Meanwhile, click here and check out our autumn issue

– TOM DOWLING, editor