A VITAL community service in Huddersfield has been thrown a lifeline.
The Volunteer Centre at Lord Street, Huddersfield, that helps people from across Kirklees to find rewarding volunteer opportunities, had faced closure.
Funding cuts by Kirklees Council had put its future in jeopardy.
But now the Centre has been saved from immediate closure thanks to its neighbour and landlord, the Huddersfield Methodist Mission.
The Mission Church Council has stepped in to offer a rent-free deal to see the centre and its parent organisation Voluntary Action Kirklees (VAK) through the next few rocky months.
The minister, the Rev Alan Boyd said: “We are unanimous in our support for the Volunteer Centre and VAK, for the vital work that they do.
“Our priority is to offer support and play our part in ensuring that VAK continues.”
The whole organisation is facing upheaval and uncertainty due to the shelving of long-planned changes in the way Kirklees Council funds local independent support for community and voluntary organisations.
And council funding that has previously been available to VAK is no longer on offer.
It will mean some of the 13 staff will lose their jobs.
Val Johnson, director of VAK, said: “We are in discussions with the council to explore how we can develop a positive partnership to provide the independent, practical and strategic support that voluntary and community organisations in Kirklees need.
“This is a difficult time for organisations like youth clubs, helplines and community centres.
“People need advice about legal issues, funding and more and VAK will continue to provide what we can.
“Unfortunately, in the short term, we will have to reduce our services as we are losing staff through much-regretted redundancies, but we are delighted by the Mission’s support and the response that we’ve had from people across the district since they heard of our plight.”
She said efforts would now be made to secure funding from other sources.
The centre has seen a 95% increase in enquiries over the last year as the recession has hit and people seek new ways to spend their time and gain new skills.
As an accredited Volunteering England Volunteer Centre, the centre also works with the Department for Work and Pensions to provide jobseekers with volunteer placements.
Staff offer advice to groups on where to get funding, how to make sure they operate legally and how to develop and maintain the work that they do.