Letters July 9: Our work with the most vulnerable needs your support

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From: Sophie Hall, Head of Services, Scarborough Whitby and Ryedale Mind.

I WOULD like to thank you for publicising our recent Save Scarborough Whitby and Ryedale Mind campaign and say a huge thank you to your readers for their support and donations which helped save us from closure.

Our independent charity which has existed on the Yorkshire Coast for more than 50 years helps people with a wide range of mental health problems ranging from depression and anxiety to bipolar and schizophrenia though seven projects.

Back in April, we were faced with the heart-wrenching possibility of closing our charity after a £20,000 shortfall left us unable to continue operating into the next financial quarter.

But thanks to your publication helping to get our message out to your readers, we received in excess of £25,000 with just hours to spare before a deadline of the end of May.

Sadly, mental health charities receive very little support from the public when it comes to donations or people wanting to fund-raise for us, despite mental ill-health affecting one in four of us.

However, more than ever, people are turning to us as they face problems such as unemployment, debt, housing or relationships which can all have a devastating impact on their mental health.

We have to raise our own money to support people in the local community and we do not receive money from charity shops or national Mind, to whom we are only affiliated in name.

Our 17 staff and army of 60 volunteers support some of the most vulnerable people in your community, many of them have no other options and can see no light at the end of the tunnel.

We can help people via our Side by Side one-to-one support service, support groups in Whitby and Scarborough, our daytime telephone helpline as well as giving assistance with finance, debt housing and volunteer opportunities.

Although we have cleared the first hurdle and received enough money to secure our short-term future until this September, we remain desperately in need of donations.

We would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in helping to form a fund-raising committee and we are also eager to hear from people interested in becoming a member of our board of trustees. Once again, thank you to everyone who supported our appeal. For more details please call me on (01723) 588088 or log on to our website www.swrmind.org.uk