Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Colchester: Charity on the brink of closure

12:01 11 January 2013

Chairman of the trustees of Colchester Age UK, Robert Needham and receptionist administratrator, Frankie Harrison at Colchester Age UK, Globe House, George Street, Colchester.

Chairman of the trustees of Colchester Age UK, Robert Needham and receptionist administratrator, Frankie Harrison at Colchester Age UK, Globe House, George Street, Colchester.

Archant

A CASH strapped charity dedicated to supporting Colchester’s older residents could be on the verge of closing.

Age UK Colchester has launched a public appeal asking people to donate what they can to keep the charity up and running.

The charity’s trustees say they have been unable to secure new funding following Government cuts in 2008 and is on the edge of its own “fiscal cliff.”

The financial difficulties began in 2006 when the charity could no longer afford to maintain its listed premises in East Stockwell Street and sold the building.

It used the money to fund the lease of its current home in George Street and to provide ongoing operating costs. However, it is thought the capital raised placed the charity at a disadvantage when competing for new funding after grants from the National Lottery and Essex County and Colchester Borough councils expired in 2009.

The Borough Council continues to part fund the charity, which costs £315,000 a year to run, but chairman of trustees Robert Needham says reserves are depleted to the stage where the charity cannot operate beyond March.

The charity employs three full-time staff, 20 part-time staff and 40 volunteers and offers a one-to-one service for older vulnerable people who have no family to help them.

It also runs social clubs and activities throughout the borough and day care centres that provide respite for both disabled clients and their families.

Mr Needham says the charity’s advice surgery has helped older people claim over £10million in benefits which is spent within the borough and supports local businesses.

“Older people in Colchester face losing their services, and staff face losing their jobs,” Mr Needham said.

“Age UK Colchester is near the edge of its own fiscal cliff. Efforts to obtain funding from grant giving trusts continue, and there are bids for funding outstanding, waiting to be considered. Given the level of competition for these, nothing can be taken for granted.”

Mr Needham stressed Age UK Colchester was an independent local charity responsible for its own funding and did not receive money for operating costs from the national charity Age UK.

Trading and marketing activities of the national charity such as sales of insurance, funeral plans, stair lifts, alarms and mobility equipment raise cash for Age UK nationally – not for Age UK Colchester.

He added: “Our social activities, lunch clubs and computer courses mean an awful lot to the people we serve.

“But we’re not giving up. We are embarking on a recovery plan and supporting staff.

“This is a rallying call to the people of Colchester to get behind Age UK Colchester and sustain our services.”

Donations can be made at the Age UK Colchester headquarters in George Street or more information can be found at www.ageuk.org.uk/colchester or by calling 01026 368420.

0 comments

A judge has said

A judge has warned of the dangers of “vulnerable and impressionable” people watching films or playing video games depicting gang violence and rape after sentencing a Colchester man who planned to tie up a woman and have sex with her after playing Grand Theft Auto.

(left to right) Acting Chief Superintendent Kim Warner of Suffolk Police speaks alongside mother of missing 23-year-old Corrie McKeague, Nicola Urquhart and his brothers Darroch and Makeyan McKeague, during a press conference  at Bury St Edmunds Police Station in Suffolk, as police are investigating the disappearance of the RAF serviceman, who has been missing for more than a week amid fears he may have been kidnapped. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday October 3, 2016. See PA story POLICE McKeague. Photo credit should read: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

The police hunt for missing RAF gunner Corrie McKeague has been labelled “incompetent” by his mother, as an online campaign has raised more than £15,000 to hire a private investigator.

East Bergholt village centre.

Residents living in a picturesque village in the heart of Constable country have taken their battle to block a development they believe will be a blot on the landscape made famous by the artist to London’s High Court.

Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer speaks in the House of Commons, London

MPs signalled they would back Theresa May’s timetable to leave the European Union after a last minute concession that she would publish her plan for Brexit first.

File picture of a police road closed sign.

There were long delays in Braintree tonight due to a crash.

The crash happened in Sudbury.

A group of people ran away from the scene of a four-vehicle crash in Sudbury today.

The Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre 2016

The annual Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre has been named as the best in the country.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24