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Crisis Appeal: Local Charity Needs Your Help to Save it From Closure

SWR Mind team


A mental health charity that helps almost 1,000 people in Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale has just two weeks left to raise the remaining £6,000 of its £20,000 target to stay open.

In just five weeks since Scarborough Whitby and Ryedale Mind (SWR Mind) launched its £20,000 crisis appeal to save it from closure, £12,000 has already poured in from people, businesses and organisations keen to help.

A further £2,000 has also been pledged including almost £500 raised from the Whitby Gothic Weekend football match at Whitby Town FC’s Turnbull Ground last month.

But £6,000 more is needed to save the charity - which has been hit hard by funding cuts - and its projects which include support groups, help with finances and housing and a telephone helpline.

Residents across the Yorkshire coast have dug deep and businesses and organisations have also got on board including McCain who have donated £1,000, Yorkshire Coast Homes who donated £6,000 as well as holding a fund-raiser.

McCain Foods' Corporate Communications Manager, Victoria Stephenson, said:
“SWR Mind supports hundreds of people in our community. It’s an extremely worthwhile charity and its  closure would be a loss to the area." 
"As a responsible, family-owned employer in Scarborough, we saw great value in supporting SWR Mind's appeal alongside our community partner, Yorkshire Coast Homes."
Scarborough Mayoress' Fund gave £2,500 while Boyes, St Cecilia’s, First Locate, Yorkshire Coast Enterprise and Pickering Town Football Club have all helped boost the coffers.

Generous shoppers at Sainsbury's in Scarborough donated just over £250 while fund-raising events have been organised by Wonkey McDonky Fundraising and Body Torque Gym. SWR Mind have also been shortlisted for charity of the year by Sainsbury's in Scarborough.

SWR Mind is not a charity shop and is not funded by charity shops or the national Mind charity and has to raise its own funds to provide its support services.

The charity which has been established over 50 years, works with people living with mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Among the fund-raisers is Joanne Jacques-Hale who set off from her home in Whitby this week - which is also Mental Health Awareness Week 11-17 May- to cycle 1,000 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats. She has already raised £1,500 during her two week challenge of a lifetime, via her Just Giving page.

Some of the 50 members of SWR Mind’s ‘Open Mind’ support group held at Whitby Library have spoken of how devastated they would be if the charity were to close.

Run by two members of  staff, the support group in Whitby has been going for seven years and is held weekly on Wednesdays from 1pm to 4pm.

Group member Karen Spoors from Skinner Street, who suffered two strokes and has mental health problems said:
"I've been coming to the group since it moved up to the library. It gives us so much support and it's a way of making friends. I felt quite isolated before I joined. It would be disastrous if it closed."
Pensioner Hazel Thomas of Abbey Terrace said:

"The group means everything to me. It’s been absolutely amazing and it’s helped me a lot as I have suffered with depression on and off for 30 years. It’s been a lifeline."

Jackie Readman of Laburnum Grove added:
"I’m the first one to have joined the support group and I've been coming for seven years. I like meeting people with the same problems as me." 
"When I was very depressed I only got out of bed once a week but since I joined the group, I have spent five years studying at college and I've made lots of new friends. I would be gutted if the charity shut down and the support group closed, as there is nowhere else for me to go."
Joanne Jacques – Hale from Whitby explained why she was undertaking her challenging 1,000 mile cycle ride saying:
"If SWR Mind closes due to lack of funds, people will lose a much needed service and there are no alternative avenues of support like it provides in Whitby and district." 
"As a volunteer, I know first-hand that people need someone to listen and care about them and this is where SWR Mind comes into its own. It will be a terrible loss to the community."
Sophie Hall, Head of Services for SWR Mind said three of the charity's 20 staff have been made redundan's A&E – will not continue after funding from other sources was not renewed.

She said:
"We've had some great pledges of support so far and are hugely grateful to the people who have donated, many of whom can least afford it. Losing our Social Prescribing service was a big blow as it was able to see people very quickly and provide practical support from the first appointment." 
"We’re saving money where we can through reducing some staff hours and minimising travel which is very hard to do when many of our service users live in rural areas." 
"Our board of trustees is constantly reviewing the financial situation and working with Coast and Vale Community Action (CaVCA) to keep our doors open for as long as we are able." 
“We have made as many savings as possible to stay afloat but, without people’s help we will close at a time when we are helping more people than ever before." 
"Please help us in whatever way you can because without the community's support, many isolated and vulnerable people will be left alone when they need us most. We are not a charity shop we help to save lives."

Once the immediate funding crisis is resolved, SWR Mind is hoping to secure a total of £80,000 from donations, grant applications and money from other funding partners to secure the longer term future of the charity.

SWR Mind is the only charity in the area to take urgent referrals from other services for people suffering from illnesses including anxiety, depression, lifelong illnesses such as Bipolar and Schizophrenia, and those experiencing psychosis or battling an eating disorder.

People can donate to the appeal online via SWR Mind's website www.swrmind.org.uk, Just Giving page www.justgiving.com/swrmind or by texting SWRM22 with the amount they want to donate in £ to 70070.

They can also send a cheque made payable to Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale Mind, PO Box 304, Scarborough, YO11 3YJ.

For more details visit www.swrmind.org.uk or call them on (01723)588008.

SWR Mind can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SWRMind1 and on Twitter @swrmind1

Crisis Appeal: Local Charity Needs Your Help to Save it From Closure Reviewed by Editor on 21:00:00 Rating: 5

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