Wellingborough charity’s plea for one-off grant to help continue its work with vulnerable people

The Daylight Centre
The Daylight Centre

A charity which helps vulnerable people is asking for council support to ensure its work can continue at its busiest time of the year.

The Daylight Centre Fellowship (DCF) has asked 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.

Inside the foodbank

Inside the foodbank

It is asking 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.

A report, due to be considered by the authority’s resources committee next week, says the organisation has been funded through a number of sources in previous years, but 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 states: “In the current challenging funding climate, DCF relies mainly on donations, grants and one-off bids to support the services it offers.

Supplies for the foodbank

Supplies for the foodbank

“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.”

If the council approves the £4,500 grant, it would equate to six months of rental payments.

The report says the grant would help to ‘relieve the immediate financial stress’ for DCF and allow time for other funding opportunities to be looked into.

Councillors will discuss the request at a meeting starting at 7pm on Wednesday, February 3, at the council offices at Swanspool House in Wellingborough.

The recommendation is to approve the one-off conditional grant.

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