LOCAL charities are continuing to receive strong support – despite people’s financial fears.
News of job losses and financial negativity has led to some organisations fearing they will take a hit in donations as people tighten their belts.
But while local charities have admitted they are wary about what the coming year will bring, generous locals are still keen to give them their backing.
The West Yorkshire Forget Me Not Trust, which is building a children’s hospice at Brackenhall, reported a surge in donations over the traditionally quiet Christmas and New Year period.
Sarah Herrett, the charity’s head of fundraising, said: “This is a traditionally a low time of year for fundraising for everybody because people are getting over Christmas and going back to work, but we’re not struggling.
“We’ve had a very busy Christmas.
“People have been organising a lot more events for us and our charity shops have been doing fantastically well.
“People are using them a lot more now and lots have had a big clear out over Christmas and donated items to us.
“Our support has grown and grown and that’s down to the community.
“We’re very lucky that a lot of people have been behind the hospice from the start and their support is continuing now that they are seeing what their efforts are creating like the building work starting and our hospice at home service.”
Pam Thornes, manager of The Laura Crane Trust, said she was concerned that further job cuts and other financial woes like soaring household bills would mean less people would be backing charities.
But with an increase in groups offering to support the work of the Huddersfield-based youth cancer charity, she said she was confident it would see a positive move forward in 2011.
She said: “We are a bit anxious about what the New Year is going to bring. People are worried because of what’s going on with the economy and job losses in the public sector.
“I think people are particularly nervous about committing to the big fundraisers like sky diving because they have to raise £500 which is a big ask.
“But we’ve had a good Christmas.
“And we are confident that we will have a reasonable year and the community will continue to support the positive differences we are making to the lives of young people.
“This year we’ve been very fortunate that Barclays staff have been raising money all over the UK and Catherine Tate has supported our charity calendar.
“The support from young people from the schools and university has been particularly strong and is continuing.
“People need to look after themselves but there are lots of ways they can help, not just financially, like coming up with fundraising ideas and giving their time and expertise.”
Kirkwood Hospice reported a dip in general donations and community fundraising and urged locals to help in any way they can by holding their own events or collections, however small.
But is has been boosted by brisk business at its 15 charity shops.
More stock is now needed after a busy festive season and locals are being urged to help volunteers keep up with the demand.
Angela Dyson, the charity’s retail coordinator, said warm clothing in particular is in short supply since the recent cold snap.
She said: “Since the recession we’ve seen a greater demand and increase in footfall but with the knock-on effect that we constantly need more stock.
“We are doing well but still need people to donate.
“We would welcome any unwanted Christmas presents, furniture, bric-a-brac and winter wear.
“We are particularly desperate for ladies clothing.”