Help us make sure we can of­fer bright fu­ture

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page -

AWEST Lan­cashire char­ity which helps those with phys­i­cal and learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties is at risk of clos­ing down af­ter 13 years.

Skelmerdale-based Brighter Fu­ture Work­shop has helped train more than 350 peo­ple in me­chan­i­cal and en­gi­neer­ing skills but now faces a ma­jor fund­ing short­fall.

Peter Cousins MBE, the char­ity’s chair­man, said all those in­volved were fight­ing to keep it go­ing, though the threat of clo­sure re­mains very real and he hopes the char­ity can con­tinue to help improve the lives of as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble.

Brighter Fu­ture re­ceives no fund­ing, in­stead rais­ing money by sell­ing mo­bil­ity scoot­ers and ac­ces­sories which are re­paired and re­stored by the ser­vice-users.

Ac­cord­ing to Mr Cousins, fund­ing of about £50,000 could guar­an­tee the char­ity’s sur­vival and en­able it to con­tinue help­ing those who oth­er­wise would re­ceive no sim­i­lar as­sis­tance.

Among the ideas be­ing con­sid­ered is invit­ing lo­cal busi­nesses to help by pro­vid­ing cor­po­rate spon­sor­ship to help with over­heads or ask­ing in­di­vid­u­als or groups to spon­sor a trainee or a tech­ni­cian to train the peo­ple at Brighter Fu­ture.

If the money is not found, Brighter Fu­ture Work­shop will be forced to close its doors for good in Au­gust.

Mr Cousins, 70, said: “It is very sad for our char­ity and staff, but mostly for the many young dis­abled peo­ple who will lose their place­ments in our work­shop; these trainees help to re­cy­cle mo­bil­ity equip­ment.

“If West Lancs loses Brighter Fu­ture it will be a se­ri­ous blow to peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties.”

Brighter Fu­ture’s trainees have helped re­fur­bish more than 35,000 pieces of mo­bil­ity equip­ment that have helped dis­abled peo­ple.

Mr Cousins said: “Our train­ing pro­grammes have helped these dis­abled and dis­ad­van­taged peo­ple whom oth­ers might have con­sid­ered un-train­able, to be­come mo­ti­vated trainees, en­abling them to help them­selves to re­move bar­ri­ers and play a fuller role in life and so­ci­ety, pos­i­tively en­hanc­ing their lives.

“There are sev­eral rea­sons that have con­trib­uted to the im­mi­nent clo­sure. Firstly we have had no fund­ing for three years, but in say­ing that our last fi­nan­cial year showed that we earned 92% of to­tal costs but un­for­tu­nately the last 8% we need to be­come sus­tain­able equates to over £100,000.

“Costs es­ca­lat­ing and the prices of mo­bil­ity equip­ment have been slashed by main­stream providers.

“It is be­com­ing im­pos­si­ble for us to op­er­ate as our sales are in de­cline so we have no al­ter­na­tive but to close the char­ity whilst we are still sol­vent.”

He added: “Lo­cal peo­ple can sup­port us by buy­ing the mo­bil­ity equip­ment they need di­rectly from Brighter Fu­ture.

“There are po­ten­tially 28,000 peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties or long term needs in West Lancs.

“In buy­ing from Brighter Fu­ture you will en­able us to con­nect sup­port these young dis­abled peo­ple to have bet­ter lives.”

Any­one who is able to help save the char­ity should contact Brighter Fu­ture by call­ing 01695 724361,

Trainees and helpers at the Brighter Fu­ture Work­shop

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