King’s Lynn mental health charity issues funding warning

Sir Henry Bellingham MP visiting One to One project. At Nelson House King's Lynn. Pictured FLtoR Brian Harrison. Simon Clarke. Sir Henry Bellingham. Hannah Cooper. Christine Thomas-Brown. ANL-161216-134758009
Sir Henry Bellingham MP visiting One to One project. At Nelson House King's Lynn. Pictured FLtoR Brian Harrison. Simon Clarke. Sir Henry Bellingham. Hannah Cooper. Christine Thomas-Brown. ANL-161216-134758009
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A Lynn-based mental health charity has warned that its future is at risk unless new funding can be secured.

Managers and volunteers at the One To One Project are facing an anxious Christmas as they wait to hear whether their bid for renewed lottery funding has been successful.

The group, which is based at Nelson House in North Lynn, offers mental health support to up to dozens of people every week.

But it costs around £100,000 a year to provide that support and the group’s existing support from the Big Lottery Fund ends at the end of the month.

Although the charity has passed the first stage of its application for a renewed grant, project manager Hannah Cooper admitted the financial issue was a “constant worry”.

She said: “It (the loss of their grant) would certainly put the future in jeopardy.”

The charity currently sees between 45 and 50 people every week and has a four month waiting list for its services.

Miss Cooper said: “A lot of our clients prefer going through this system, rather than the medical.

“They feel they have a lot more control of the service they’re receiving.”

A team of 28 professional volunteers, who all give their time free, currently works for the project, which also offers outreach support services in Downham, Swaffham and Terrington St Clement.

North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham saw the group’s work for himself when he visited the project’s Bergen Way headquarters on Friday, to mark Local Charities Day.

The Government initiative aims to promote the work of local community groups and encourage residents to make donations to support their activities.

Miss Cooper said the visit was an ideal opportunity to show the importance of the project, which has been operating for more than 30 years and lost its previous NHS funding five years ago.

She said: “We provide cost-effective services to such a high proportion of the community and it’s shortsighted if they don’t get the financial support they need.”

To find out more about the project, phone 01553 770770 or visit www.onetooneproject.com.