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Anonymous donor hands Sidmouth Help Link a lifeline

PUBLISHED: 16:27 09 November 2015

Sidmouth Help Link

Sidmouth Help Link

Archant

A charity that closed through a lack of funding can resume its work in the community thanks to a substantial donation from an anonymous benefactor.

Sidmouth Help Link, which offered assistance to people in need as well as matching potential volunteers with local voluntary organisations, was forced to shut its doors in September.

But a contribution totalling ‘thousands of pounds’ from a mystery Sidmouth resident this week has allowed part of the charity to continue operating.

Help link manager Jenny Goodhall said: “It is very good news.

“It’ll be a much-reduced service, but I think we can still help a lot of people.

“We are very pleased to be able once again to offer our services to the Sidmouth community.”

The donation has allowed the help link’s ‘ask us’ service – which offers face-to-face or telephone advice on a range issues – to re-start.

The charity’s volunteer referral service, which matches would-be volunteers with local organisations in need of extra manpower, has also been saved.

However, the much-valued help scheme, which co-ordinated a team of 70 volunteers to assist elderly and vulnerable Sid Valley residents, has proved too costly to continue for the time being.

Jenny said the person behind the donation had requested to remain anonymous, but said that the cash would keep the charity going ‘for up to a year’.

She added: “We are very grateful, but we will still have to look for sustainable funding. So, in the meantime, we will be fundraising and looking at grants.

“Donations would still be welcomed in order to guarantee our future survival.”

Before the charity closed this year, it had recruited and placed more than 1,000 volunteers and carried out some 100,000 hours of community tasks in its 20 years of operation.

The help link’s new opening hours are Tuesday and Thursday mornings, between 10am and noon at the Community Partnership in Mill Street.

Its contact details remain the same - 01395 514445 or email help@sidmouthhelplink.org.uk

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