Richard Foord MP met with volunteers and users of the Devon Recovery Learning Community (DRLC) in Honiton after their funding from NHS Devon was cut.

The Liberal Democrat MP, who represents rural East and Mid Devon, pledged to demand protection for the service, which has been operational since 2013.

iT offers courses and drop-in sessions for people across Devon who are managing various mental health issues.

The decision to discontinue funding is being carried out by the Devon Partnership NHS Trust in a bid to save money.

However, the move has been criticised for being taken without any prior discussion.

It was only after the funding cut was confirmed that a limited consultation with service-users was announced.

The decision follows a previously planned cut to Devon County Council’s homelessness prevention fund, which was discarded due to widespread objection

Mr Foord criticised the proposed cut as ‘smoke and mirrors’, citing the services as a vital frontline for those in need and their far-reaching impact.

Calling on the Devon Partnership Trust to reconsider, he emphasised that cutting preventative services like those offered by DRLC will result in more people requiring severe treatment, which will cost more in the future.

He said: "Meeting with volunteers, employees and those who have used the services offered by the DRLC was really eye-opening".

Midweek Herald: Richard Foord MP met with volunteers and users of the Devon Recovery Learning Community (DRLC) in

Their contribution enables tremendous changes in the lives of many people.

He shared touching stories of users, one of whom revealed the decision to end the service left them feeling isolated and without support, while another credited the service with saving their life.

Mr Foord further expressed disappointment with the apparent decision to cut the service, fearing it to be a shortsighted and misleading cost-cutting measure.

He added: "Services like DRLC offer hope for those otherwise at the end of their tether.

"The value of their work cannot be overstated.

"I am urging the Devon Partnership Trust to reconsider".

The politician has pledged to write to them to reconsider funding this critical local mental health support.