Lighthouse charity plans expansion

PUBLISHED: 08:00 08 May 2015 | UPDATED: 15:20 12 May 2015

Jo Southard and a team from British Gas who helped to clean and paint the new premises.

Jo Southard and a team from British Gas who helped to clean and paint the new premises.

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A CHARITY is trying to raise £25,000 so it can expand its premises and provide support to even more people in Weston.

Lighthouse, based in North Street, already runs a foodbank and a café where people are provided with employment opportunities, and offers parenting and English courses.

It is raising the money so it can help even more people in the town.

The work will create a new training room for up to 50 people, with an attached kitchen, where someone could be employed to do catering.

The building is being provided at a low-rent by Bakers Dolphin, and the premises will be used so volunteers can work more closely with those who use the food bank.

It will also provide facilities for people to be trained for employment, and raise funds for Lighthouse when the facilities are hired out to other groups.

Charity development manager Jo Southard said: “It’s all very exciting.

“It’s all about growth and offering more services and being able to provide help after the food parcel.

“There’s a lot of stuff which comes before people reach the point where they need a food parcel – the parcel is almost the last straw.

“We want to offer training, support and direct people to other agencies and hopefully we will have more projects in our building here and work with more partners.

“We started talking about this in 2012 so it has been bubbling for a very long time and just before Christmas, the food bank was overwhelmed with donations.

“So it has come through people’s generosity really.

“I love how people want to help and make a difference to help others change their lives and that’s what we are about.”

Jo hopes the building will be open by June 22, and a number of businesses have already helped to get the premises ready, including iDesignKitchens and British Gas employees cleaned and painted the building.

Jo Said: “We had our fifth birthday and now we are looking at the next five years to help Weston be the best it can be, and help people in Weston be the best they can be.

“It’s a real opportunity to make change.”

Click here to support Lighthouse by helping it gain funding through the Aviva Community Fund.

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