Colchester’s Haven Project saved from closure by grant funding
- Credit: Su Anderson
A mental health scheme faced with closure after its national funding ran out has been saved after a campaign by those who use it.
The Haven Project, based in Colchester, helps people suffering with personality disorders, providing both crisis intervention and recovery services.
It faced shutting down when its 10 year funding from the Department of Health came to an end in February and no other NHS funding was available.
However after being dormant for two months, the project will be resurrected by the end of May after a £381,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund and a further £84,000 grant from Essex County Council, both spread over three years.
It follows a campaign and online petition by service users since last October to find new funding.
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The lottery funding will cover crisis prevention and overheads such as the building and administration costs while the council grant will pay for recovery and support work.
Pernille Petersen, chief executive of the charity, said: “Our clients were ecstatic when they heard the news, and I had tears of joy. It is fantastic
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“During the dark days their campaign gave me strength.
“They should be very proud of themselves, and I am deeply moved and touched by everything they have done.
“It has been a fantastic process to see people who have been told in the past they are a write-off stand so tall and proud in difficult circumstances.
“In order to avoid us being in this situation again we will be looking ahead within the first year so we know we are going to be continuing in the future.
“The lottery and county council have been absolutely superb in allowing their decision to come through early enough for us to allow us to stay put, although dormant.”
As well as a revived service, the Haven Project will have a new home.
It has left its old site in Glen Avenue, Lexden, and will be moving into new facilities in St Peter’s Court, in the town centre.
Ms Petersen added: “Our new home is very good, has development potential, and although it does not have a garden Castle Park is just steps from it.
The renewed service will be smaller, with only half of the original 12 staff working there, but Ms Petersen said she was happy to report the other workers had found other jobs.