Lancaster charity issues urgent appeal for storage space

Lancaster charity Neuro Drop In has received a final notification to leave its current premises, and is now urgently looking for a new home as well as storage space.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Thursday, 16th July 2020, 12:30 pm
Neuro Drop In founder Sharon Jackson outside the centre.
Neuro Drop In founder Sharon Jackson outside the centre.

HM Prisons need the building, which is next to HMP Lancaster Farms, for training purposes from August 10. It had originally been hoped they could remain until the end of August.

As well as securing a new home, the most pressing challenge the charity faces is finding storage space for the furniture and equipment that are in the current building and packing boxes.

"Neuro Drop In has been here for seven years now," said founder Sharon Jackson. "We have always had a good relationship with HMP Lancaster Farms and have been talking with the Governor about their requirements for a few months.

The Neuro Drop In centre next to HMP Lancaster Farms.

"We had hoped we would be able to remain a little longer, mainly because the Covid pandemic has made it very difficult for us to find alternative premises.

"However, that has not been possible unfortunately."

Neuro Drop In provides a unique place in Lancaster for anyone affected by a neurological condition, such as multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, epilepsy, dementia, cerebral palsy, Huntington’s disease, ME, MG, MSA and acquired brain injury.

The charity relies heavily on the generosity and support of the local people, businesses and community groups who give their time and money to help run the centre.

It receives no statutory funding and needs to raise more than £140,000 a year to cover the costs of activities, which include many classes and groups such as crafts, singing for wellbeing, mindfulness, yoga, seated exercise classes, physio, mindfulness and book groups.

"This building has played an integral part in the growth of the charity because our members feel safe in familiar surroundings," Sharon said. "A move would be difficult at any time but the problem is even worse during the current climate.

"We have to be out of the centre in just a few weeks which doesn't give us much time to pack up when our staff and volunteers need to follow social distancing guidelines.

"We urgently need to find storage space or outdoor space that we can put a storage container until we have new premises. Oh and lots of packing boxes!"

Despite the centre being closed for the time being due to the pandemic, Neuro Drop In continues to support its members and their families by running online classes, delivering care

packages and doing shopping for those who are still shielding due to their circumstances. This is something they hope to carry on for the foreseeable future.

If you have storage space that the charity can use, or know of premises that might be suitable for their new home, please contact [email protected] or 01524 840762.