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Uncertain future for homeless charity

By Katia Harston, Chief Reporter Friday 18th April 2014
Barnsley Churches Drugs Project, on John Street

A CHARITY which helps the homeless and those suffering from drug or alcohol addiction faces an uncertain future, the chairman has warned.


Barnsley Churches Drugs Project, on John Street, is run three times a week by volunteers and a part-time employee who hand out hot and cold meals to those in need.


It also provides food parcels, donates clothing and bedding and offers comfort by way of a listening ear.


Demand on the service has almost doubled in recent years but chairman Kate Raynor has warned it will not be able to continue as it is unless adequate funding is found.


She said: "We're facing an uncertain future. Our costs are rising and successful funding bids are increasingly difficult to come by.

 

"Our co-ordinator salary runs out in June and we're not sure whether the project can continue to function without someone in that role.


"Even without the co-ordinator salary, we only have six months' funding left overall.


"We don't receive any funding directly from the council, though they have supported us in finding premises and with other equipment.


"After 11 years we are desperate for the project to continue as it is needed now more than ever.


"Our numbers are continuing to increase, and our resources are stretched to try to cope with the demand.


"Funding for charities is becoming harder,. As such we need to diversify the ways in which we fund the project."


BCDP, which has gone from helping about 30 people a session to between 75 and 80, is supported by the Company Shop without which Kate says the project couldn't do what it does.


Chairman of The Company Shop, John Marren, said: "The work of Barnsley Churches Drop In Project is vital to our community.

 

"We are so proud to support the team with food donations and we hope that many more people will come forward to help this important charity go from strength to strength."

 

Kate said the project would love other local companies to support it or help with running costs, such as a co-ordinator's salary of about £1,400 per month or rent for the John Street building, which is around £830 a month.


"We spend about £300 per year on carrier bags. If a company would be willing to provide branded bags that would make a huge difference."


If anyone is interested in helping contact 321877 or bcdp@live.co.uk.

CommentsClick here to add a comment...
Posted by Jane I Tue 22nd Apr 2014 at 1:54pm

From my experience of people using this service, I would like to say thank you to all those who have given their time and money over the years. It is sad that such a charity is needed in 2014 but as the article says more and more people are struggling financially and the need is increasing. The Project offers not only excellent practical support but also emotional support. We can underestimate the value of someone caring, listening and offering practical help if we have never been in that situation. May the Project be supported so that it can continue to offer such help.

Posted by rob I Thu 24th Apr 2014 at 1:05pm

I was homeless in my 20s.services such as this are vital