One-off grant for Wellingborough centre which helps vulnerable people approved

The Daylight Centre in Wellingborough
The Daylight Centre in Wellingborough

A charity which helps vulnerable people is to get a one-off grant to ensure its work can continue at its busiest time of the year.

The Daylight Centre Fellowship (DCF) recently approached Wellingborough Council for financial support towards the fixed costs incurred by operating the Queen’s Hall building as a drop-in centre for vulnerable people and the local foodbank scheme.

It asked for a one-off unconditional grant of £4,500 as a contribution towards the running of the Queen’s Hall and 10, High Street, Wellingborough, which it leases from the council.

The request was put to members of the council’s resources committee at a meeting last night (Wednesday).

During discussions before the decision was made, Cllr Andrew Scarborough praised the work of the Daylight Centre but also said he was concerned that the authority may be making a rod for its own back with other organisations making similar requests in the future.

But despite this, the one-off grant was approved.

A report prepared for councillors said the organisation is struggling in the current climate to replace lost or time-limited funding as well as meet increased needs from the community.

In July last year, the council received a letter outlining the pressures facing DCF in terms of revenue funding, including the pressure to cover rental payments, and it says these pressures have mounted as the year progressed.

The report said: “In the current challenging funding climate, DCF relies mainly on donations, grants and one-off bids to support the services it offers.

“The vulnerable client group it serves has limited ability to pay for services, and the uncertainty over the long-term availability of the building also acts as a barrier to attracting funding.

“Representatives from the foodbank service are members of a wider network in order to try and increase efficiency and work towards sustainability and self-sufficiency.

“However, the project is not yet sustainable.

“The organisation now finds itself in a position at the busiest time of year in terms of client numbers where it is struggling to meet rental payments on time.

“Should DCF decide to surrender the lease on the two buildings, it would leave the council with two unoccupied buildings, putting the properties at further risk of vandalism and disrepair, as well as the council incurring business rates, security and insurance costs.

“Should the services run by DCF discontinue, the council may incur an increased demand for help with benefit assessments and other social welfare advice.”

The £4,500 grant equates to six months of rental payments and should ‘relieve the immediate financial stress’ for DCF as well as allowing time for other funding opportunities to be looked into.

For more information about the work of the Daylight Centre, go to www.daylightcf.org.