Appeal drives on

A MORPETH charity may have a longer journey to buy a vehicle, but support continues to comes in.

The Herald reported last year that Barnabas Safe and Sound, which provides activities and opportunities for young people, was seeking to raise £40,000 for a people carrier or mini-bus.

The charity launched the appeal to enable it to offer more trips and outreach activities, as well as transport equipment to its events. Currently, it has to pay costly hire fees for vehicles.

Funds are coming in for the venture and the project received a boost when Barnabas was named the Mayor’s Charity of the Year. But now it looks like it will take longer to raise the amount required for a vehicle within the year.

Barnabas Chief Executive Chris Menzies said: “We have made some progress, but we haven’t got the money there for where we wanted to be at this point.

“We still have to wait to find out how much the town council has been able to raise for us, but we have to take stock of the situation. We need to make a decision as to what we will be able to afford and how we are going to pay for a vehicle.

“It would definitely be an advantage to have that extra resource.”

The charity will soon discover how much has been raised as the Mayor’s charity.

And there will also be a contribution from The Original Factory Shop in Morpeth, which has selected Barnabas as its charity partner this year, with hopes of presenting it with a minimum of £500 from fund-raising events. Newcastle Building Society is also planning to give support.

“We are really pleased with the support we are getting,” said Mr Menzies.

“It might take a little bit longer to get our vehicle, but people have been very supportive and they seem to want to continue supporting us. We are grateful for that.”

The Original Factory Shop Morpeth Manager Kim Duncan said: “We had a lot of local causes come forward asking for our support. On behalf of all of us at The Original Factory Shop I would like to sincerely thank all the charities who applied to be our partner.

“After considering each application thoroughly we think that we can really make a difference to Barnabas Safe and Sound this year. We are really excited about our partnership and have already given some thoughts to how we could raise plenty of money.

“I’m sure our customers will once again be right behind us and help us raise much-needed funds for what is a very worthy cause.”

Initially, Barnabas intended to spend £40,000 on a new vehicle, but after researching the purchase the organisation decided to spend less on a second-hand vehicle and use any remaining funds for youth work.

Businesses have been encouraged to get involved with the appeal with the chance to see their name painted on the vehicle in return for sponsorship.