'˜Vital' Derbyshire mental health service could be wound up

Campaigners want to raise £40,000 to save a '˜vital' mental health support group which is under threat of closure.

Tuesday, 31st January 2017, 3:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 31st January 2017, 3:51 pm
Volunteer, Shelley Quinlan.

Chesterfield-based DORA is an umbrella organisation of around 20 separate ‘peer-support’ groups which help a total of 350 people.

However, after losing funding from Derbyshire County Council, the service might have to close within months, leaving vulnerable people unsupported.

Vice-treasurer and trustee, Alistair Garrett, said: “DORAs current position is that we will run out of funding at the end of March. Unless we can turn things round in the next two and a half months, Mark Hudson our centre manager will be made redundant, the premises vacated and DORA wound up.”

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Dora members are worried about the group's future.

The service currently organises groups on depression, anxiety, bipolar condition, eating disorders, self harming and many more.

Group members live across Derbyshire but are mainly concentrated in Bolsover, Chesterfield and north east Derbyshire.

The organisation has been further hit after being excluded from a new mental health services contract which will begin in April.

This, Alastair believes, is because DORA is neither a charity or a business and therefore cannot meet ‘due diligence’ requirements.

Volunteer, Alastair Garrett.

“Some of the groups will be funded by whichever organisation gets the contract, though with £110,000 to cover all existing self help groups in Derbyshire, not to the level they were before,” he says.

The ‘Save DORA’ campaign which has been created in response is - according to Alastair - still ‘very much in its early stages’.

The initial target of £40,000 would cover the group’s continuing accommodation and Mark’s employment costs for the coming financial year.

To raise the money, the group is planning lots of events and will need sponsors to cover the cost of venues.

Dora members are worried about the group's future.

It also needs raffle prizes, help with transport and banners, posters, collecting buckets and business cards.

To offer support to DORA, email Alastair Garrett at [email protected]

Volunteer, Alastair Garrett.