Nidderdale Plus column with Katy Penn

The very busy Nidderdale Plus office on Station Square, Pateley Bridge.
The very busy Nidderdale Plus office on Station Square, Pateley Bridge.
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Charity begins at home – so the saying says. But does this mean inside your front door, or in your neighbourhood or district, or as a nation responding to a troubled world?

Probably the answer is ‘all of the above’ but in Nidderdale, we have much evidence of ‘charity’ – whether that is the existence of charitable organisations, seeing charitable acts of kindness (like the giving of donations or the act of helping out a neighbour) or having charitable qualities (like kindness and generosity).

Charitable organisations come in various guises – whether they are local representations of national charities (like our Age UK shop and soon-to-be-opened Save the Children charity shop in Pateley Bridge High Street) or whether they are local organisations, there to deliver charitable aims such as support to those in need in our communities.

My own organisation, Nidderdale Plus, gained charitable status in October 2015 when the Charity Commission recognised that delivery of local services – such as Community Transport and delivery of Library and library-related services – is an important charitable aim, supporting those who live in rural communities, including those in particular need.

Nidderdale Plus wants to extend this support across the whole of the Nidderdale area throughout 2017 (including Mashamshire and the Washburn Valley) and will be asking communities across Nidderdale where they think those gaps in services occur, what the priority needs of rural communities are across Nidderdale and how those needs might be met, working in partnership with other organisations.

But don’t wait to be asked – if you have views on where there are gaps in local services, come and talk to us at Nidderdale Plus. Like all development, there needs to be evidence of need and the more conversations we are able to have with local residents, the better the value of our work and the better the long-term results for all.

Please contact me at the Nidderdale Plus office or email me: katy@nidderdaleplus.org.

Like other charitable organisations, it costs Nidderdale Plus to operate.

As many of you will know, some of our income comes from annual contracts with North Yorkshire County Council, Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire Police to deliver services in Nidderdale on their behalf.

These contracts bring in 42% of the annual income required to meet our current expenditure (our main costs being rent, utility bills, salaries, phones etc).

The rest (58%) we have to raise by other means. This is quite a commitment for a small charitable organisation – which is why projects such as our new ‘Friends’ of Nidderdale Plus’ are important initiatives for us, bringing in new income whilst keeping those who support our work informed about what we’re doing.

Every penny counts so if you see a charitable collection box for Nidderdale Plus, or spot details of our next book sale, or if you’re not a ‘Friend of Nidderdale Plus’ yet please support us and give generously!

Details of all our work and how you can support are available at the Nidderdale Plus office, Station Square, King Street, Pateley Bridge, on our website www.nidderdaleplus.org or give us a ring: 01423 714953.