Efforts help safeguard group supporting jobless

Back from left, Neville Hydes, Vic Billett; front Charlotte Farquharson and Sue Woolley
Back from left, Neville Hydes, Vic Billett; front Charlotte Farquharson and Sue Woolley
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THE future of a back-to-work community group is looking more secure after a range of people and organisations offered their support.

Toolbar holds free sessions every Monday morning in the Bourne Snooker Centre in Cherryholt Road, Bourne, aimed at helping get people back to work.

The group has been running for two- and-a-half years with the support of charities and organisations, including the Len Pick Trust, Bourne Town Council and the Bourne United Charities.

But in the face of spending cuts this year major donors reduced their support. Chairman Neville Hydes appealed for help in the Mercury and has been overwhelmed with the response.

He said: “In no small part thanks to the article we are on track for the financial year.”

A number of organisations and individuals came forward after reading the article to offer their support.

Lincolnshire county councillors Sue Woolley and Charlotte Farquharson combined some of their Councillor Big Society Fund to donate £500 to the cause.

Among the organisations which came forward were housing association and charity Boston Mayflower, the Lincolnshire Community Foundation and Bourne business Carter Futures, which made a donation through the Len Pick Trust.

Mr Hydes said: “I was surprised and pleased because it is all from within the community. I am encouraged that particularly the county councillors felt they wanted to lend their support to what we are doing.

“The councillors’ donation was fantastic and totally out of the blue. We are feeling quite optimistic and the future now is secure at least until the end of the financial year.”

The group also got an unexpected boost after a professional life coach and a counsellor came forward to volunteer after reading the article.

The two Conservative county councillors said supporting Toolbar was an easy decision. Coun Woolley said: “They do such good work and deserve to be supported. We know that what they do provides results.

“When Neville told me they have a 70 per cent success rate I was absolutely staggered and that is all through voluntary means.

“I feel humbled to support them because they really work hard. I can’t praise them enough and I hope to be able to continue to support them.”

Coun Farquharson added: “We have decided to go duo on our support for the bigger things so we could give them a really good donation. We are trying to spread it across various age groups and interests.

“We felt Toolbar is necessary and very useful in this day and age and it also serves a wide age range.”

The group is still looking for support. If you can help out call Mr Hydes on 01778 425313.