City council stumps up nearly £10,000 to save two charities from closure
Two Preston charities have been bailed out by the city council after mounting costs nearly forced them to close.
Sahara, based in Fishwick which helps young Asian and black women, and Gift 92, a charity which helps families by supplying recycled furniture and household equipment, both applied to the Emergency Grant Fund.
Cabinet member for resources, councillor Martyn Rawlinson, signed off short-term grants to keep the organisations afloat.
Sahara, who help around 2,000 people a year, received £5,000 to cover its rent for the next financial year.
Council documents show the charity is struggling to bring in income from room hire and charging for running projects.
Officers wrote: “The client group served by the organisation is important and often marginalied and there is no other obvious single organisation in Preston that could offer all the services presently offered by Sahara.”
Gift 92, which was set up after the last Preston Guild in 1992, applied for £4,800 to cover the salary of key staff and fuel costs for its van.
The charity helped 559 families in the last financial year and has already helped 102 on low incomes to kit out their homes with recycled furniture.
The Emergency Grant Fund was set up by the council in July with £10,000 allocated to help charities struggling in the tough economic climate.
The decision by councillor Rawlinson means the fund is now used up and will be forced to close for this financial year.
Cllr Rawlinson said: “The annual grant funding was underspent following the closure of Prescap. Both groups help thousands of local people each year and is money well spent during lean times for everyone.
“The funding for Gift ’92 is particularly apt given its creation after the last Preston Guild.
“The Emergency fund was a one-off as the cabinet begins to prepare its budget for 2013-14 with expected local government finance cuts of a further 10%.”
What do you think about the decision? A good use of council money? Let us know your views in the comments below