Charity turns down new Bourne centre’s refund request

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A NEW mental health drop-in centre is desperate for donations after its former parent charity refused to refund money raised before they split.

The Bourne South Lincolnshire Mind centre was forced to close last month when Lincolnshire County Council pulled its funding.

Members acted quickly to set up a new centre at Wake House, North Street, and pulled away from Mind to form the Bourne Wellbeing and Mental Health Support Group.

They hoped to be refunded money raised at Bourne Mind events to help the new centre, which opened yesterday.

But their request was refused as the money had gone into an amenity fund for use by the whole charity.

Chairman of the centre user group Brian Cannell said: “Monies raised at events held by Bourne members is held in an amenities fund at our Grantham office.

“We at Bourne asked for that money to be refunded to us so we may furnish our new premises prior to opening.

“This has been refused.

“We are now looking to take the issue to the Charity Commission.”

In a letter to Mr Cannell, Mind finance manager Tracey Knowles said that all money raised by the charity can be spent however it feels is necessary.

Donations are accepted as unrestricted funds, a rule outlined in the charity’s funding policy.

The letter said: “Given the serious financial difficulties that face South Lincolnshire Mind, the fact that, over many years, the rest of the organisation has, to a degree, subsidised the Bourne centre and the charges we have remaining for the Bourne property, it is simply not feasible to consider a request for funds from anyone.”

The new centre’s initial opening hours will be 10am to 2pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Staff at the new group have appealed for anyone with any ideas for fundraising or those with an interest in volunteering to contact Mr Cannell on 07724 555002.