Urgent £20,000 fundraiser launched to save Bedford Guild House

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A Bedford charity providing a vital service to older people in the town and rural areas is facing closure if they cannot plug a £20,000 funding gap.

The Bedford Guild House in Harpur Street says that the Covid pandemic, coupled with a loss of statutory funding, has seen their income decline while their costs have remained the same.

“We provide a vital service for older people who do not qualify for help from social services,” said CEO, Sonia Minney, who has worked at the Guild House for 24 years.

“The activities and classes we run help alleviate common problems associated with ageing and are a lifeline for people who might otherwise be socially isolated.”

Despite signing up 50 new members in the last few weeks, the charity’s attendance is still not up to pre-Covid levels.

Having re-opened for activities and classes in May, attendances are increasing as confidence returns to our older people. Unfortunately, this is not quick enough to avoid closure.

“Realistically, we are looking for financial help within the next few days to avoid having to make the decision to close the charity,” Sonia told the Bedford Independent.

The charity is in discussion with its landlord, Bedford Borough Council, regarding a rent reduction and is urgently seeking donations of any size to help keep the centre open.

“This £20,000 will buy us time to apply for grants and other funding pots to secure our future for next year,” said Sonia.

“We offer something unique in Bedford, giving older people support, friendship and helping them stay active. We play an important role in the community and we want to be here for future generations too.”

You can donate to the Bedford Guild House fundraiser at their JustGiving page here.

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