Lincolnshire

Sue's Place bereavement charity could shut without funds

Sue's Place in Newark
Image caption The centre is in urgent need of cash to keep its services going

A children's bereavement centre in Lincolnshire faces closure as it struggles with funding.

Sue's Place in Newark, which covers Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, helped 300 children last year cope with the death of a friend or relative.

Now the charity said it is being forced to turn families away because it can't afford to help them.

Jo Butler, vice chairman of the charity, said it desperately needed money to keep going.

She said: "It is heartbreaking to turn away families. But, if we haven't got the money, we can't pay the staff, and we can't deliver the services.

"We will carry on and keep fighting for the cause because we believe that it is absolutely essential for these children."

The charity, which was set up 11 years ago, needs £180,000 a year to run.

An appeal was launched in August after they had a lottery grant turned down, but Mrs Butler said they still needed around £100,000 for the next year and were looking at ways of cutting costs rather than services.

Sue Lyon's daughter Sharon died a year ago and her two grand-daughters have been visiting support workers at Sue's Place.

"The charity helps them to relax and talk," said Mrs Lyon, from Lincoln.

"It is hard to say exactly how much of a benefit it has been. We were very concerned about the girls' mental health because they bottled their feelings up, they tried to avoid the subject.

"But since going to Sue's Place they have opened up to their counsellor and I am no longer worried about them."

Sue's Place receives a small grant from Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottinghamshire PCT, which only makes up 10% of the money it needs.

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