Funds will enable charity to expand

An organisation that provides support services for women, men and young people from the age of 14 across Northumberland has received a major funding boost.

Sunday, 15th January 2017, 2:55 pm
Cath Hale celebrates the Big Lottery Fund windfall with some of the other team members at Cygnus Support in Ashington. Picture by Jane Coltman.

Cygnus Support, formerly the Women’s Health Advice Centre, has been awarded £496,736 by the Big Lottery Fund (BLF).

The money for the incorporated charity, based in Ashington, will start at the beginning of February and it will cover a three-year period.

As well as helping with core costs, the funds will enable it to establish more educational courses and with training and recruiting volunteers.

In addition, Cygnus provides confidence building courses and counselling services by paid staff and volunteers – all of whom are qualified counsellors or psychotherapists.

Issues covered include mental health, domestic abuse, bereavement, alcohol or drug issues and marriage/relationship difficulties on a one-to-one basis.

Manager Cath Hale said: “We’re really thrilled and very grateful to the BLF to be awarded this funding.

“An unsuccessful bid would have meant losing some of our services, but now we can maintain our key services and expand our provision in some areas.

“We’ll be looking to run more drop-in sessions, establish a training programme for other organisations covering a range of subjects, use technology to help more people access our services, have more of a presence in the north and west areas of Northumberland and raise our profile across the county.

“It’s very important to us that our clientele regularly get the opportunity to have a say about our services so we can make changes to better suit their needs.”

An awareness event will take place at Woodhorn on March 23. For more information about this and its services, call 01670 853977.