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Loss of Stafford and Stone Signpost centres would be a tragedy say users

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: February 21, 2014

By Sarah Marshall

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PEOPLE who say the lifeline Signpost centres have given them vital help have rushed to support a major funding campaign - dubbing any threat to its future as a “tragedy”.

The Newsletter revealed recently that Signpost centres in Highfields, Stafford, the Frank Jordan Centre in Stone, and an outreach in Barlaston, were facing a cash crisis.

Workers from the charity are approaching trusts and funding bodies to bring in vital money and spread the word about what is on offer.

It comes as numbers of people using the centre are rocketing as people rush to get advice on benefits, job help, get supplies from the food bank and use computers. The centres also hold various advice sessions as well as mum and toddler groups.

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The centres have in the past been funded by lottery cash and jointly by local authorities and health services but demands on budgets are making it more and more difficult

But Signpost boss Ken Downs says they are determined to ensure the service continues.

Suzy Medlicott, of Moss Pit, said she got involved with the Signpost Centre during a difficult time in her life.

“I lost my sister and my job would not let me have the day off to go to the funeral.

“A friend of mine told me about this place and just coming in and being able to talk to someone calmed me down.

“The help and advice I have had here has been so important that I thought the least I could do was give some of my time to help out.”

Sarah Alldritt, 28, of Meadowcroft Park, began using the Highfields centre in 2011 with the mums and toddlers group. She now volunteers there.

“I made friends, got help and advice from the CAB and Stafford and Rural Homes,” she says. “It has given me so much more confidence.

“When my daughter started school I needed something to do so I started volunteering.”

Neil Poyser, 35, who lives in Highfields, has been volunteering for the last two years.

He said: “I just came in off the street to have a look.

“I just like to help because I know what this place means to people and the difference it makes.

“ It would be a tragedy if it wasn’t here anymore.”

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