Charity closure fear unless funds found

Stephen Breese
Stephen Breese
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A CHARITY set up to help some of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable families in Wyre is in danger of shutting down – unless urgent cash is found.

Wyre Homestart – a regional arm of the national charity – will be forced to announce its closure in December if no funding comes up to keep it going.

At present, the charity looks after 22 families with children aged one to five across the borough, helping them cope with a variety of issues, including difficulties with parenthood, emotional problems and how to deal with children suffering mental or physical illnesses.

Spokesman Stephen Breese (pictured) told The Gazette: “I don’t know what will happen to these families if we aren’t there to help.

“They may be disadvantaged, be coping with problems such as Autism or behavioural problems, or are just struggling to cope.

“They will be devastated if we have to withdraw our support for them.

“Our funds came through children’s centres, but because of Government austerity measures, they can no longer support us after March next year.”

The charity assigns a volunteer to each family to help offer them support, friendship and practical assistance.

But strict charity rules mean the business must begin winding down when it hits its last three months’ funding, and announce it is to close. That will happen in December if no further cash can be found.

Mr Breese added: “It costs £60,000 to keep the charity going for one year. We’ve applied for a grant of £300,000 from central Government, but even if that was successful, it may be too late for us because we have to start closing down.

“We need to secure some funding for the short-term while we apply for these grants.”

The charity was only set up in March last year.

One service user – who asked to remain anonymous – said: “They have been wonderful with us – real angels.

“We got to a point where we felt we couldn’t carry on any more and couldn’t cope with day-to-day life.

“I don’t know what would have happened to us if we hadn’t had their help. It’s helped us get back on our feet and life at home is so much better, more organised and we’ve a much better outlook on life.

“It’ll be a crying shame if it can’t carry on giving the community this vital help.”

Volunteers from the charity spend time on a daily or weekly basis with their chosen family.

They help them cope with the debilitating effects of physical and mental illnesses, unruly behaviour, isolation, and emotional problems, including coming to terms with the death of a loved one.