People who need to visit a city charity won’t be able to ‘drop in’ out of the blue – because the sign directing patrons to the site has been torn down.
The sign for the Neuro Drop In at HMP Lancaster Farms was ripped down by the Highways Authority, along with a sign for the prison and the sign was found dumped in a skip.
Now the charity says with new signs costing up to £8k, it won’t be able to afford to buy a new one which could seriously affect the organisation.
Founder Sharon Jackson said: “The sign has been removed because we didn’t have permission. It was attached to the top of the Lancaster Farms sign and had been there for four years. There was no warning and they didn’t tell me.
“There is no way as a charity we could afford to replace it. It’s really difficult because we are offering a vital service to people with neurological condition but we need the sign to direct people here.
“What we are trying to do is make a difference and it feels like someone is tying our hands behind our back. We don’t get funding and we have to rely on our own resources and rely on the wider community.”
Sharon said the charity originally had two A board signs but both were stolen.
A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “All street furniture, including signs and bollards, was recently removed from this site as part of preparation work for the construction of a new shared cycleway/ footway along Quernmore Road.
“The banner advertising the neurological centre which had been attached to the sign for the prison had not been authorised.
“We’re sorry the sign was disposed of along with other materials from the site clearance rather than being returned to the centre, however we would consider an application for official signs.”
“We launched our Happy Cafe but if people can’t find us itthey won’t bother trying again.
We did originally have two huge blackboard A boards worth £120 each but they were stolen. Then we had another board chained up but that kept blowing in the road and we didn’t want tp hurt a passes-by or damage a car. The sign was perfectly place where people could see where we are.
I believe that they want to widen the road because there is a lot of existing traffic.
It’s wasting resources.We don’t get funding and we have to rely on our own resources and rely on the wider community Lack of communication springs to mind and the attitude to it. We are a registered charity and what we are doing really matters to people. All the other volunteers are shocked. It’s a very quiet time for us for fundraising, especially after Christmas so it’s very galling
“What we are trying to do is make a difference and it feels like someone is tying our hands behind our back.
The prison have been nothing but supportive to us. This is the kind of nonsense we have to put up with.”