Darlington homeless charity continues to 'flourish' despite economic troubles (From The Advertiser Series)
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Darlington homeless charity continues to 'flourish' despite economic troubles
A DARLINGTON homeless charity has ‘flourished’ despite the economic downturn with a number of success stories for clients, its CEO has said.
The 700 Club, which has its headquarters at Grange Road Baptist Church, has helped hundreds of people in the last 16 years and now offers a variety of services to support different needs.
At the charity’s annual general meeting, CEO John Elliston the charity had ‘continued to dream dreams’ despite the level of cuts to public services and the increase in the number of people in need of housing support.
As well as its hostel accommodation for over 18-year-olds, the 700 Club also runs Bridge to Home, a bond guarantee scheme to help people clear one of the main financial hurdles to getting a privately rented home, and a floating support service which provides support to those with substance abuse issues.
Mr Elliston said: “Across the year we have continued to work with people, those that are homeless and those in housing need in Darlington.
“We have consolidated our different work and dreamed of new opportunities.
“In an environment where the word ‘cut’ seems to be on the lips of every provider, it’s easy to get weighed down by that sense of doom.
“I’m pleased to say we’ve not only survived, but we have flourished and seen many successful outcomes for our clients.”
Mr Elliston praised the hard work of the staff and volunteers at the 700 Club and said he was “frequently humbled” by their dedication and commitment.
Lee Vasey, chairman of the trustees, also praised the commitment and energy of the staff and added: “For many vulnerable people the positive engagement with the 700 Club is totally life changing.
“They’ve grown stronger in spite of the economic considerations. It’s very tough for people just trying to stay afloat.
“This organisation is second to none in helping people with complex needs and it is respected in the wider community.”
The AGM also heard that the charity is in a good financial position, having balanced the books in the last financial year with strong reserves.
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