A LEADING Burnley charity is facing closure with-in six months due to a lack of funding and volunteers.

Burnley Shopmobility secretary David Kelly warned the ‘vital’ service could shut its doors without extra help.

He said the St James’ Street charity, which is staffed by nine volunteers, sometimes received donations of as little as £7 per week.

Mr Kelly, 47, said it costs around £12,000 per year to run the charity, which provides wheelchairs and scooters for disabled town centre shoppers.

He said: “We have a shortage of able-bodied volunteers, and a shortage of funds.

“Unlike some of the larger charities, we do not have a paid fundraiser, nor do we have that appeal, that little tug on the heart-strings that gets someone to dig deep into their pocket.

“We have been relying on our wonderful members for their support.

“They do keep us running, but we now feel we need extra help.

“Some of our scooters need replacing and the building we are in needs major work doing to it, so we are begging the people of Burnley to come to our aid. We are afraid that without help we will first have to cut down on the days that we open (currently Monday to Friday) and then eventually close our doors for good.”

Mr Kelly, who sits on the Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale Council for Voluntary Services executive committee, said the charity had 473 members, who pay a one-off fee to join and use its services.

He added: “We don’t want to charge people every time they hire.

“For some of our members, we are the only way they can get out of the house.

“I can think of one lady who, if we shut, wouldn’t get out the door. Without us, she’d be a recluse.

“Anybody who wants to come and volunteer is more than welcome.”

  • To volunteer, or donate to Burnley Shopmobility, call into the shop at 140-142 St James’ Street, Burnley, or call 01282 450684.