A homeless shelter threatened with closure is fighting on in its bid to stay open and support vulnerable young people across Blackpool – thanks to the donations of Gazette readers.
As people across the Fylde coast celebrate Children In Need (CIN) today, the resort’s Streetlife charity has told how the BBC’s charity arm has helped to support homeless and vulnerable young people in Blackpool.
The charity, based on Buchanan Street, came close to closure earlier this year, when Blackpool Council announced it was to cut its £100,000 annual funding.
Since then, it has won funding from a variety of sources, and is this year spending the final instalment of a three-year grant of £95,000 from CIN, to fund a specialist worker to support young people who find themselves on the streets.
And bosses of the charitable trust say that, while they are still in financial trouble, they are set to meet CIN officials to bid for more money, and have today called for the Fylde coast’s support of both charities.
Chief executive Jane Hugo said: “The CIN money is a substantial pot for us, it provides a worker to specialise with under-18s, they can work with around 60 young people each year. We’re hoping to get a similar grant again.
“The difference that role makes is really important, they offer advice about education, employment and housing. It’s vital. It’s important people see that money to CIN goes into their town and it is really helping the work of Streetlife.”
In the face of the council cuts, the charity launched ambitious plans to raise money from local businesses and supporters, saying £5 each from 2,000 people would keep it ticking over each month.
The charity says it can continue its work for the rest of this financial year and has stressed its shelter, unlike those at the Foyer and William Lyons House, both in Blackpool, remains open despite the council cuts.
Mrs Hugo added: “We’re really striving to stay open.”