Charity's project to close
A BECCLES-based charity that has been hit by funding problems has had to close one of its major projects.Mental health and physical disability charity New Thresholds will close its carpentry and woodworking project Barsham Wood at the end of the month.
A BECCLES-based charity that has been hit by funding problems has had to close one of its major projects.
Mental health and physical disability charity New Thresholds will close its carpentry and woodworking project Barsham Wood at the end of the month.
The charity, based in Hungate, provides training and employment opportunities for people recovering from mental illness, or for people with physical health problems and disabilities.
The Barsham Wood project, which has been running for 16 years, employs people to make wooden furniture and household items.
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Five people will lose their jobs as a result of the closure, out of about 20 who are employed by the charity.
One of the charity's major contracts ends on September 30, representing a reduction of approximately one third of their total annual income. Because New Thresholds has had problems gaining further contracts it has meant that the charity has had to cut its services, Barsham Wood being the casualty.
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New Thresholds has been running for 16 years, and Barsham Wood was one of the first projects. It started out at the back of the charity's premises in Hungate but moved out to Barsham as it expanded.
The charity also has two retail outlets, one in Hungate and one in Loddon, as well as an office services unit and furniture restoration in Hungate. These are unaffected.
“It's been over many months and many meetings to come to this sad position,” said Philip Miller, who is on the board of trustees at New Thresholds. “The trustees have been working very hard to stop this happening and it's extremely sad that it had to come to this. It's not a decision that has been taken lightly or easily.
“We're hoping to keep ourselves afloat by right-sizing, we're pulling in our horns, but we're trying to continue to offer able services for our clients and employees. We're looking for additional funding, but it's getting increasingly difficult.
“We're actively looking for alternative work for those likely to be affected. They're guys we have been working with for a long time, so we have a duty of care towards them.”