A support service in Rossendale that has helped generations of families is facing a funding crisis and will not exist beyond March without additional money.

Bacup Family Centre works with high schools and families all over Rossendale, but is currently living on its emergency operational reserves after its grant from National Lottery Community Fund ended in March.

Project Manager Leila Allen said: “We have submitted applications for other grants, but we are appealing for businesses and residents to commit to regularly supporting the centre so that we can continue to provide our services for the 250 people we see every week.

“We are looking for individual donors so that we can raise 40 per cent of our budget, rather than relying solely on grant funding.

“Last year, we saw a 35 per cent increase in service users and that figure has increased again this year. A lot is down to the cost-of-living crisis, but people need our help for all sorts of reasons.

“We fundraise and have had a lot of support from the churches and Bacup Fellowship of Churches Charity Shop, but to keep the services we run now we need to raise £180,000 each year and as we are currently running on reserves, they will need replacing too.”

Since April 2021, Bacup Family Centre has been based on the top floor of the ABD Community Centre in Burnley Road, but its origins go back nearly 60 years to when the Sisters of The Good Shepherd Nuns were based in Pennine Road.

Leila continued: “We don’t get statutory funding, but we get referrals from statutory agencies and funding is getting more and more difficult to obtain and a lot is targeted.

"Our remit is to meet all need at all times, so it is more difficult for us to attract funding that is why we are appealing for local support.”

The centre employs five people and 22 volunteers, and has regular contact with 450 people of all ages.

At the ABD Centre they run weekly toddler sessions, an eight to 11-year-old after school club and an adult drop in and social.

At The Valley Leadership Academy, the centre runs The Listening Project for students who need help to work through issues and make informed choices.

In response to the lack of youth provision in Bacup and a rise in anti-social behaviour in 2021, the Family Centre formed Solutions, a community and multi-agency approach.

This led to The Station being opened in Union Street. Now every Thursday Family Centre staff and volunteers run two sessions for Years 7-9 and Years 9 to age 18, engaging with 50 young people each week.

A befriending and mentoring service operates in the community and every week staff have one-to-one home meetings with families and respond to residents who walk into the centre with issues that need addressing.

Team Leader Rachel Allen said: “Can you swap buying that packet of Haribos and instead donate the £1 to the Family Centre?”