“There is less funding available because so much is going towards the Olympics,” she said. “In our case, we have had grants rejected, not because the projects are bad but because of lack of funds from the big organisations.
“It is a constant difficulty, there is just not enough funding to go around. It is having a major impact on our finances.
“We have been going through a process of scaling back some of our services. We used to run Sunday lunch deliveries, which mainly went to elderly people, but it was costing us too much so the sad decision had to be taken to suspend it.
“But we are trying to make sure we are still here to continue to provide services.”
Ms Ballance said people in Ashington don’t resent the Olympics, despite the way it is draining away cash.
“We are very much supportive of it,” she said. “It is difficult to see the benefit in economic terms outside of London but culturally, for the country as a whole it is great.”
Mr Lavery also supports the games, but said bad planning has meant their benefit is too London-centric.
“I hope the Olympics will be a tremendous success, and I think they will be,” he said. “They are good for the UK, and good for everyone. But they are not going to benefit people in South East Northumberland, or the North East, financially.
“They are having an adverse impact on this region. For example very few North East companies have won tenders to build the stadiums – it was never a level playing field.
“We were told the Olympics would benefit the whole country but that is just not true.
“It is a fantastic opportunity for the country but we are seeing a downward impact in the regions.
“The planning and management has not been fully thought through, so it is not including ordinary people throughout the whole country.”