Temporary reprieve for 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 has avoided possible closure – but only for now.

Solve It launched a campaign last month to raise £9,000 to guarantee its future and, following a number of new donations, sponsors and fundraisers, bosses have revealed the funding is now in place to maintain it as a going concern.

Kevin Shapland, chairman of the charity’s trustees, said: “We’re not out of the woods yet but we are in a position to carry on for the next few months while we continue with the fundraising drive.

“We have received a number of new leads in recent weeks which we are following up and there are some potential new revenue streams available to us so we are hopeful, but by no means certain, that can go some way to guaranteeing the long-term future of the charity.”

Volatile substance abuse (abusing aerosols, gas and glue) is more common than many people think, 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 past year due to government and council cutbacks, it faced going into administration unless the shortfall was covered.

Mr Shapland added: “We have been delighted with the response we have had, not just from the public but also from those within the organisation.

“One of our staff, Jolene, is taking part in the three-day London to Paris bike ride next month and has agreed to raise money for Solve It which is a tremendous gesture.”

Based at SATRA Innovation Park in Rockingham Road, Kettering, the charity has a county focus providing educational services and counselling, including a trip earlier this year to speak to pupils at Croyland Primary School in Wellingborough.

Nationally the charity is able to provide support through telephone and on-line counselling.

Latest figures show that 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.