Race against time to save solvent abuse charity

Pupils from Croyland Primary School, Wellingborough, taking part in the Solve It anti-substance programme
Pupils from Croyland Primary School, Wellingborough, taking part in the Solve It anti-substance programme
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A Kettering-based charity which provides a national lifeline to thousands of people addicted to volatile substance abuse faces possible closure – unless it finds £9,000 before April.

Solve It has launched a ‘Campaign to save Solve It’ and is appealing for donations, sponsors and fundraisers to help the organisation survive.

Volatile substance abuse (VSA – abusing aerosols, gas and glue) is far more common than suspected, killing an average of one person every week in the UK.

Formed in 1989, the under-threat charity has helped more than 300,000 young people, parents, carers, partners and professionals.

After losing £100,000 in funding in the last year due to government and council cutbacks, it faces going into administration unless the money can be found.

Kevin Shapland, chairman of the charity’s trustees, said: “We appreciate that the cutbacks haven’t just affected us and we have tried to adapt by becoming more streamlined and minimising our overheads but we still have a £9,000 funding shortfall that we need to address by the end of March – we need help and we need it now.

“Every day we work with people whose lives are a non-stop cycle of solvent abuse and providing help and support not just to them but their families, partners and employers.

“VSA has a direct impact on crime, communities and health.”

Based at SATRA Innovation Park in Rockingham Road, the charity has a county focus providing educational services and counselling, including a recent visit to Croyland Primary School in Wellingborough to talk to pupils about its work.

Nationally it provides support through telephone and on-line counselling.

Latest figures show 11,166 11-year-olds used volatile substances in 2011 compared with 1,175 trying cannabis.

More than 232,000 11-to-15-year-olds abused solvents at some stage in 2011.

A ‘Campaign to save Solve It’ Facebook page has been launched and can be found by searching for the appeal’s name.

To get involved call 01536 414690.