Elderly suffer as funding cuts force Darlington Town Mission to cut services (From The Advertiser Series)
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Elderly in Darlington suffer as funding cuts hit charity
12:19pm Tuesday 5th March 2013 in News
LONELY pensioners are languishing on a charity’s waiting list after a lack of funding forced it to cap its services.
Darlington Town Mission, which celebrates its 175th anniversary this year, sends volunteers out to visit elderly people living alone and gives them much needed human contact.
It was open to all but is now only able to help those aged over 80 because it is running out of money.
Derek Mills, treasurer of Darlington Town Mission, said: “We care for 80 people and last year we made over 900 visits to them at home, in a care home, or in hospital.
“About two or three weeks ago we started putting an age limit on who we can accept because we’re running at a deficit.
"Obviously because we’re dealing with old people we do have some who die on the waiting list. It’s a sad situation.”
Mr Mills estimates that the mission needs an extra £10,000 a year in donations to remove the cap.
This would cover day-to-day running costs and pay for a second full-time employee. The charity is appealing for donations via its localgiving.com website.
The website owners will match any £10-a-month donation with the same amount from a Government fund as part of their ‘Spring for a Year’ campaign, running until the end of May.
Mr Mills said: “They only have £40,000 that is going to be used up quite quickly but if we could just get 80 people to donate £10 a month we could lift the cap and start taking care of more vulnerable older people.
“It would give us some stability and help us plan for the future. I’m hoping we might get a few more volunteers through the website too.”
Darlington Town Mission raised £600 last year through their website, which helped to pay for 60 visits to their most vulnerable clients. The charity was founded by Quakers in 1838 to help people in poverty.
Localgiving.com is a company founded by Marcelle Speller, who appeared on Channel 4’s Secret Millionaire programme, which supports local charities by allowing people to donate to them online.
- DARLINGTON Town Mission is one of the latest groups to benefit from signing up to localgiving.com
The website is promoted by County Durham Community Foundation (CDCF), an independent grant-making charity.Benefits offered by localgiving.com include a webpage to attract donation, volunteers and raise awareness and automatic 25 per cent Gift Aid on donations.
Mission treasure Derek Mills said: “Through our Localgiving page we are able to bring the work we do to a wider audience, attracting more donations and volunteers.“With an ageing population, more people are living alone and so there is a growing need for the support our services give.
“We have joined the national campaign to end loneliness, which is highlighting the effect that loneliness has on health and the quality of life.”Jane Robson, development manager at CDCF said: “Localgiving is a great help to local groups.
“County Durham Community Foundation even runs workshops on how to set up your page and how to get the most out of it, which Darlington Town Mission found very useful.“I hope they continue their success with the new match funding scheme.”
For more information about the foundation, visit cdcf.org.uk