Unemployed and low-income residents in the Calder Valley have been given a late Christmas present with the opening of a £20,000 drop-in centre.
Salem Drop-In Centre, based at the Ground Floor Project on Central Street, Hebden Bridge, will officially open its doors in the new year.
Ground Floor Project chairman Les Siddall said it will “act as an all-purpose, one stop centre to provide support, advice, access to work experience and address the needs of the disadvantaged, the job-seeking unemployed, disabled and people on low and fixed incomes”.
Funding came from the Duke of York - £5,000 - and £10,000 from the European Union Key Fund, while Ground Floor put over £5,000 in itself due to unforeseen extra costs.
And Mr Siddall is now calling on the public to support the centre - both financially and by volunteering - to help ensure that Ground Floor - a charity itself - doesn’t lose out.
Mr Siddall said: “I’d like to thank the European Union Key Fund and a special mention to the Duke of York who not only gave us the first ever Community Leadership Award but it came with £5,000.
“But this project has so depleted our funding that it has created financial problems for Ground Floor. We did appeal to Calderdale Council for funding for the floor which needed re-laying and the oven which was condemned but they turned us down. I’m asking residents if they would become friends of the drop-in centre and donate £5 to replenish the funding loss. That will give them privileged prices when they use the cafe. We’d also be grateful if they would volunteer at the centre on an ad-hoc basis.”
At the centre, not only will users be able to get a cup of tea for 25p and a hot meal for less than £2, they will be able to do job searches and update their CVs free of charge and get free advice and training.
Mr Siddall expects the centre to have helped over 1,000 people within its first year.
To become a friend of the centre call in at the Ground Floor Project or contact 01422 844991.