Croydon Drop-In centre saved by Lottery grant
A LOTTERY grant has saved a struggling charity which feared it would have to halt vital services when its funding was cut in half last year.
The Croydon Drop-In centre in South End, South Croydon, has received £48,000 from the Big Lottery's Advice Services Fund after the charity successfully bid for a chunk of the £16.8 million pot.
Croydon Drop-In, which provides counselling and information to young people in the borough, had to reduce its outreach programme when its agency funding was cut by 48 per cent last year. The programme covers a range of issues including advice on debt, welfare benefits, housing, sexual health, relationships, healthy living and personal safety, and makes contact with more than 12,000 young people.
A spokesman for the centre said: "No funding had been confirmed for 2012 to 2013 so we anticipated that outreach would have to be cut.
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"The outreach team continued to deliver a reduced service and young people were quick to notice their absence. Other services were also affected and were operating a reduced programme, including the drop-in service and one to one counselling. Now with the injection of the Advice Services, outreach has been restored for the year.
"Although this ensures that Croydon Drop-In will operate until March 2013, funding is only confirmed for one year and the organisation will need to raise £100,000 to ensure it can continue beyond that date. It would be hard to justify its closure at a time when young people need its services more than ever."