Unique Lancaster charity on move again as search continues for permanent home

A Lancaster charity which supports people affected by neurological conditions is on the move to a new home once again.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Tuesday, 4th January 2022, 12:37 pm
Neuro Drop In founder Sharon Jackson.
Neuro Drop In founder Sharon Jackson.

Neuro Drop In has been looking for a new permanent home since July 2020, when it had to leave its base at HMP Lancaster Farms.

Neuro Drop In provides unique support 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.

Neuro Drop In is moving to Torrisholme Methodist Church.

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.

Neuro Drop In have now had to move three times in the last year - but founder Sharon Jackson is still hopeful they will find a permanent home for their services.

The group will operate out of Torrisholme Methodist Church from Monday January 10.

The venue will provide much-needed space for the group's classes, and an office space which can also be used for private telephone calls to housebound service users as well as counselling and therapy sessions.

Sharon said: "It's a massive relief and we are very grateful for the opportunity. They have been very welcoming and have given us a very generous rental.

"We have discussed any challenges there might be and we are prepared to compromise on space and fluidity because we are determined to make this work for us.

"We are like a family and we are not going to give up."

The new venue will also allow the group to launch a new free helpline for anyone needing support - something which the Covid pandemic showed them a need for after they were inundated with calls they were unable to deal with.

"We have learned so much from the Covid experience," Sharon said. "It's been awful but we have learned things we can do better, such as how important communication is."

The group is inviting users to pop in to the church in Norwood Drive on Monday to have a look at the new facilities to give them an understanding of how the space will work.