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Winchester homeless charity looks to future with positive financial reports
THE future looks bright for one of Winchester’s key homeless charities.
Trinity Winchester posted a surplus for the first time in five years as it looks to develop its services in the city.
The charity made £8,000 last financial year, compared to a £111,000 deficit the year before.
Speaking at its AGM last Thursday (Oct 24), treasurer Gerry O’Keefe said the turnaround was due to an increase in funding, largely thanks to a £70,000 Big Lottery grant, and saving money through reorganisation, including stopping a drop-in service in Basingstoke.
Mr O’Keefe said: “We have a double whammy of increasing income and decreasing costs which, from a treasurer’s point of view, is as good as it gets.”
He added: “We have budgeted for another surplus this year and are at the half year still on budget and on target to make another small surplus. We feel moderately confident we have turned the corner and Trinity is now set to grow.”
The day centre welcomed 810 people last year, at an average of 63 per day. Sixty per cent of were first-time visitors and 91 people were found accommodation through its personalised budget programme.
Staff ran 869 groups, classes and activities and 407 therapeutic sessions including counselling and support groups.
But John Craig, trustee and acting chairman for the night due to absences, said the centre had seen a large number of young people through its doors recently.
He said: “Between July and September we have had 84 young people aged 16-24 looking for support. These are people who have their adult lives before them and it’s so important to help them get a stable and satisfying lifestyle.”
Mr Craig also thanked staff, volunteers and trustees for all their work last year from directly supporting people to fundraising.
The AGM also heard presentations from Alex Bax, of homeless healthcare specialists London Pathway, and BBC producer Luke Mendham who has recently filmed Trinity users as part of a documentary on mental health.
Mr Mendham said: “Without places like the Trinity Centre the mental health service would be even more stretched than it is.
“I think the mental health service in Hampshire is doing a good job while the Trinity Centre and some other charities in Southampton are doing a considerably better job than other parts of the country at helping people.”
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