Charity warns it might not be here next year, despite support from MP
- Credit: Archant
The project manager of a Fakenham charity is worried it will not be here next year, despite the support of their MP.
First Focus in Fakenham could have to shut its doors as its lottery funding runs out in September, despite working tirelessly through the pandemic.
The charity, which has helped thousands of people in the Fakenham area over the last 18 years, has especially stepped up to support the community during the lockdown, choosing not to be furloughed as it wanted to support their service users.
At its centre in Oak Street, First Focus provides a friendly meeting place and activity centre where people receive help with issues such as mental and physical health problems, unemployment and financial difficulties.
The charity also runs the community fridge, which has food close to its sell by date being given to whoever needs it.
You may also want to watch:
Project manager Clarrisa Belson said the had helped in a range of ways in lockdown, including collecting people’s shopping and prescriptions, making well-being phone calls and checking people’s mental health who were living in isolation.
However, Mrs Belson said this work meant other pressing issues have been put to one side.
- 1 Plans for market town homes back on the table
- 2 Holiday lets look forwards to seeing 'happy faces' as lockdown eases
- 3 'Ready to go' - Department store raring to reopen after 109-day wait
- 4 Town centre gets 'spring clean' ahead of high street re-opening
- 5 Owners of Pensthorpe pay tribute to patron Prince Philip
- 6 'Raring to go' - Barbers prepare for reopening
- 7 Tribute to loving and kind war veteran who opened school in Norfolk
- 8 Rare chance to visit famous walled gardens for only second time ever
- 9 Covid drive-through testing centre opens in town car park
- 10 Man sells bar after 19 years - but can't say goodbye
She said: “We have spent the last four months, running around physically doing things for people, and the admin and the paperwork side of it has been forgotten.
“There have been more priorities, like getting people food and prescriptions and, checking in.”.
The centre, which reopened last week, had a visit from MP for Broadland, Jerome Mayhew, who said he wants to use the recess to look at organisations which are helping the community.
He spent the morning talking to volunteers and people who use the service and said that “we should be doing more of it around the constituency.”
Mr Mayhew said he did not know about the funding issues but said that today was about “having those conversations”, He added that “if there’s anything I can do to help with the funding to unlock doors, then I absolutely will do.”
The centre is still adjusting to social distancing guidelines, with only 12 people are allowed in at one time
Being used to a more of drop-in environment, Mrs Belson said it has been strange to adjust.
“The sad part is we can’t just have drop-ins.
“It goes against everything the First Focus is about. It does feel a bit strange at the moment.”