Help us make sure we can offer bright future
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,