Charity expands after £250k boost

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A MENTAL health charity based in Bury St Edmunds is expanding its services after being handed more than £250,000 in donations.

Workwise has helped more than 5,000 people with various mental illnesses return to work, gain qualifications or to take part in community activities.

Now, following a number of large donations, Workwise plans to expand and is looking at additional sites in Cambridge, Ipswich, and Norfolk.

“We have been overwhelmed by the support and generosity: We just cannot put into words how grateful we are,” said Workwise chief executive Val Beresford.

“However, I do feel the support we get from within the community is a reflection of how highly valued the services we provide are.

“Our service makes a huge difference to people’s lives and makes a huge contribution to the Suffolk community.”

The largest amount – £106,597 has been given by the Social Investment Fund for new equipment in the charity’s workshops, while £10,000 has been given by Prove and Improve to a boat building project – both schemes train people up to trade standards, boosting their employment chances.

Meanwhile, a new employment advice outreach service run by Workwise will cover the whole of Suffolk following a £30,000 grant from St Edmundsbury Trust, The Suffolk Foundation Trust and Transforming Suffolk.