THE NORTH Worcestershire Basement Project, which helps and supports young people aged between 16 and 25, wants previous clients to get in touch to help safeguard the long-term future of the scheme.
The charity needs to build up a database of the work it has already done to prove the project’s financial worth and to help get funding in the future.
Operations manager Jackie Hooper said: “It doesn’t matter how long ago the support finished, we would love to hear from people.”
Because of confidentiality, the organisation is reluctant to get in touch with previous clients in case they do not want to be contacted.
So she got in touch with The Standard to ask if we could put out an appeal to find those who would be happy to offer their support to the project.
“We want them to give us an update on their personal stories – what are they doing these days – are they working or in further education – what is their housing situation.
“We appreciate some may have moved out of the area but we are positive there are many who remain within the Bromsgrove and surrounding areas.”
Trustee and voluntary CEO, David Morgan, added funding had changed over the 17 years the Basement Project had been around and long gone were the days when funders would financially support a charity just because they were doing a worthwhile job.
He said eight or nine years ago, funders began to ask for a lot more information about what money would be used for before they would lend their support. That has now moved on to funders wanting to know potential outcomes.
“Today, with more charities than ever chasing less and less funds available, funders are starting to demand actual financial proof that the funds they provide will produce real results.”
Fellow trustee and treasurer John Perks said in the past grants were received from both district and county councils but they had never covered the total costs of running the Basement Project so it had relied on other donations, including funding from local contributors and large organisations, such as the Big Lottery Fund and Comic Relief.
“However, with more and more pressure on councils from central government to reduce their costs we can envisage a time when the funds we receive from the district or the county could be squeezed even more than they already are.
“That means if we are to maintain the high level of service we provide we need to prove the financial value of what we do, so that councils and other funders know they are getting value for money.”
The details of anyone who contacts the Basement Project will remain confidential unless they are willing to be contacted by any funder in the future to confirm their story.
Any ex clients willing to update the Basement can do so by calling 01527 832993, emailing Jackie at email@example.com or calling into the offices in Hanover Street.
“We always love to see our ex clients and hear how they are getting on so anyone wanting to drop in and see us would be made very welcome,” added Jackie.
The Basement’s Annual General Meeting is this Monday (June 20) at 4pm at the Black Cross and there will be an open event and barbecue from midday to 3pm on July 15. Everyone is welcome to both events.