Harrogate mental health charity fears 60% drop in its income

A much-needed Harrogate mental health charity, which is still providing vital mental health support to isolated people across the district, fears its income levels may decrease by as much as 60% as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

By Graham Chalmers
Wednesday, 8th April 2020, 6:38 pm
Mind in Harrogate District's base at Acorn Centre in Harrogate.

Open to people aged 18 and above who have any type of mental health disorder, in normal times Mind in Harrogate District offers a friendly welcome and invaluable help at its base at Acorn Centre on Station Parade.

Until the general lockdown, it also ran a weekly drop-in at Ripon Library with monthly sessions in Knaresborough, Masham, Boroughbridge and Pateley Bridge.

The pandemic may have forced MInd to stop all face-to-face support for people struggling with mental health last but it has continued to provide its services online and over the telephone.

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Last week alone saw the charity make 197 phone calls to service users to ensure they had enough food, access to medication or simply have a catch-up about their mental wellbeing.

But, despite the charity's determination not to let down anyone during the coronavirus lockdown, its concern is growing over funding.

Chair of Trustees, Mike Gibbs, said: “The Covid 19 Virus is having a massive effect on all of us, personally, as communities and in our working lives.

"Mind in the Harrogate District is clearly needed more than ever as this situation is affecting everyone no matter what age, gender or socio-economic situation.

"People are really appreciative of the calls which are being done daily from our base at The Acorn Centre by dedicated staff who are coming in to make those calls and offer that support.

"We remain committed to continuing working hard to ensure that people in the Harrogate District are able to maintain the best possible mental healthy they can in such challenging circumstances.

"But we estimate that as a result of Covid 19 our projected income for the next 12 months could be reduced by as much as 60%. "

Mind is now hurriedly taking stock of its current position and looking at all ways possible to continue providing a service.

It is also launching an appeal to individuals and local businesses to help it raise valuable funds to ensure it can continue providing the support and activities that service users and the wider community rely on us for and help secure our future.

But Mind is worried about the financial situation not only in the next few weeks or months but what it is going to find after the crisis passes.

Mike Gibbs said: "The trustees and management at Mind in Harrogate District are determined to ensure that we continue to support those in the community with mental health issues as best we can and are working hard to look at finding new ways to raise funds.

"We have had to look at different ways we can offer mental health support to our service users and the wider community.

"We know these are difficult times for everyone in the community affected in so many different ways.

"But there will also be many challenges ahead even once the current crisis is over.

"Given the up-and-coming changes in mental health service in the region we need to be a rock to the community and work with all parties to ensure our region is served well."

A donation page has now been set up on Mind in the Harrogate District's website www.mindinharrogate.co.uk for anyone who is able to help the appeal now or in the future.

If anyone needs to contact Mind for support, the local number is 01423 503335 or visit its website.

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