Burnley charity 'blown away' by donations to invest £250,000 in fight against poverty

A new community hub, run by Church on the Street, is set to open in Burnley town centre after the charity promised investment totalling £250,000 in the fight against poverty.

Friday, 8th January 2021, 3:45 pm
Updated Saturday, 9th January 2021, 10:26 am
The Church on the Street community hub will be run from the old DW Sports building on the corner of Hammerton Street and St James' Street
The Church on the Street community hub will be run from the old DW Sports building on the corner of Hammerton Street and St James' Street

Donations flooded in from across the globe after COTS Ministries featured on a BBC news feature before Christmas talking about how poverty in Burnley had reached unprecedented levels during the pandemic.

Online fundraising reached £150,000 in a matter of days, with donations received by the charity now totalling £250,000.

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The hub will give people access to food, clothing, recovery groups, mental health support and debt management.

COTS has just secured a five-year lease on the old DW Sports building, located on the corner of St James' Street and Hammerton Street, to be used as their centre of operations.

This community well-being hub, which will be spread across the building's upper floors, will provide safe shelter for anyone who needs support, help and guidance.

A one-stop refuge for the vulnerable, the hub will give people access to food, clothing, recovery groups, mental health support and debt management.

It will also provide free computer access for job applications and benefits help, education for improvement of basic reading and writing skills, and prayer and faith based support.

Three local people will be employed to aid the running of the programme with plans to expand the team as the hub grows.

Ryan Kilbride, part of the COTS support team, said: "We want to lift people out of poverty. At the moment all we are doing is firefighting. Food parcels help but we need to stop the cycle. We need to change people's lifestyles.

"This hub will give us the opportunity to move people forward. It will offer people access, support and guidance in changing their lives and situations in an open access, safe and friendly environment.

"We will be working with other organisations and local charities in order to provide full and well-rounded support.

"We are also looking for a team of volunteers to get involved as we fight poverty in our communities together. There is a lot of work ahead, but we are heading in the right direction."