Ball event aims to raise funds to save mental health service from closure due to cuts

First published in Bradford by , T&A Reporter

Funding is looking uncertain for a mental health befriending service in the city.

The service’s supporters say hard times could be ahead for it because of doubts over getting grants and being commissioned to do work for local organisations and authorities as spending cuts continue to bite.

Bradford and Airedale Mental Health Advocacy Group has been running independent services for mental health users across Bradford since 1989, but, without a direct financial source of support, the service relies strongly on well-wishers .

Now those behind the befriending service are planning a charity ball to secure funds they will need to keep the service running after next year.

The ball will be in the Princes Ballroom at The Midland Hotel, Bradford, on October 27, from 7pm, with a luxury four-course meal included.

Tickets cost £40, and the night will also involve table-top magic, a charity auction and raffle as well as entertainment from a DJ with dancing.

“We have managed to get a bottle of House of Commons whiskey, which has been signed by the Prime Minister and will be auctioned on the night,” said one of the organisers Danny Leek.

He added: “The befriending service currently has enough funding to see it through the next year. However, it costs £44,775 a year to run the service. Bradford has the third-highest figures nationally for people on incapacity benefit due to mental ill health.”

A recent report produced by MIND said that 84 per cent of people with mental ill-health report feeling lonely.

Mr Leek said: “Bradford has a population of approximately 500,000 so as you can imagine many people have sought help from our befriending service.

“This charity fundraiser is also about raising awareness of the valued work which we do. We are aiming to raise as much money as possible from this event and will continue to fundraise in the future and apply for grants – we currently have various applications being considered.”

To find out more about the charity and the event, go to http://new.thebiggive.org.uk/charity/view/9032.

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