Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Charity needs a new home now

A Poole-based charity which helps people with brain injuries rebuild their lives is being made homeless.

Headway Dorset, based at the Fourways Centre, Constitution Hill Road, has been told by Borough of Poole to be out by October to allow a major redevelopment of the centre. It will not be complete until the end of 2010 at the earliest. It is the charity's only base in the county, and provides support for brain injured people and their families, including respite care, counselling and rehabilitation.
But the council has provided just £20,000 for relocation, leaving it struggling to afford rental prices.
To make up the shortfall it is selling its shop in Dorchester, but the race is on to have everything in place before October. Chairman of trustees Adrian Cormack said: "We are concerned we are not going to make that deadline.

"The £20,000 over the course of two to three years is not going to be sufficient to find somewhere in this area, and the market is going against us now to sell the shop in Dorchester.

"Some of the people who use Fourways have been relocated to units at Whitecliff, but we've not got one of those.
"It's like we've been hit with a triple whammy.

"We're rather stuck at the moment."

While Headway will move back to the Fourways Centre eventually, it may no longer be its main base.

Mr Cormack added: "We are looking at using the money from the sale of the shop for something more central, perhaps relocating from Poole to a permanent location so we can be more the masters of our own destiny."

He added: "It is a unique service and we will keep on going but we have to think of other facilities available to us and how we can run from those facilities."

A spokesman from Borough of Poole said: "Headway was advised in February 2007 they needed to find alternative premises during the rebuilding phase. This is a temporary arrangement and once the new building is ready it will provide accommodation for them again."

Headway Dorset needs office space, particularly somewhere private for counselling sessions, and a multi-use area for teaching and rehabilitation.
Anyone who can help should contact 01202 682 650.

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