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Concern at closure of Wiltshire mental health charity
A Chippenham charity committed to helping homeless people in the area get back on their feet says it is extremely concerned by the imminent closure of Wiltshire Mind.
The mental health charity lost its government funding two years ago, and will shut its doors on December 7 after it was unable to find alternative funding.
It lost out to Trowbridge-based Alabaré Christian Care and Support which took on a Wiltshire Council contract worth almost £210,000 in 2010.
The organisation kept going for two years by selling its base in Newtown, Trowbridge, and living off its reserves – but now the money has run out.
The charity was founded in 1993 to provide care and information for people experiencing mental distress, with many referred to them by the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Trust.
Hundreds of people with mental health issues will now no longer receive therapy and counselling sessions provided by the charity.
Lisa Lewis, who runs Doorway in Chippenham, said she is concerned about the closure.
“A number of Doorway guests currently visit the various Mind sessions and we are witnessing extremely high levels of anxiety amongst them in response to the news that this very valuable service will be closing later in the year,” she said.
“Several of our guests visit various Wiltshire Mind groups in different towns on different days to ensure that they can access this vital service on more than one day per week. They’ve had very positive comments about the interactions within the group and the freedom to be able to discuss their mental health issues with other people in the same situation.”
Trustees of Wiltshire Mind say that the groups and counselling service will be wound up from November 12.
In a statement, Wiltshire Mind’s trustees said: “The charity has found it almost impossible to obtain new funding to run its core services. Working in a rural area, the charity’s costs are high and it can no longer be self-sustained.
“With no further funding on the horizon the decision has had to be made now that services will close.”