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Desperately seeking new base

PUBLISHED: 02:22 05 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:37 03 March 2010

A WOMAN has launched a desperate bid to find new premises in Ipswich for Suffolk charity.

For ten years Family in Need's (FIND) chairwoman, Maureen Reynel, has battled to find a new base for the organisation, which gives basic items to people who live below the poverty line.

A WOMAN has launched a desperate bid to find new premises in Ipswich for Suffolk charity.

For ten years Family in Need's (FIND) chairwoman, Maureen Reynel, has battled to find a new base for the organisation, which gives basic items to people who live below the poverty line.

The search has intensified as their current premises in an old Nissan hut at Raydon Airfield is rat-ridden, damp, with no electricity and gets flooded when it rains.

FIND also has a small storage space in a converted barn, but this also has no electricity.

Ms Reynel said: "The problem is we are losing good quality furniture and mattresses and things get mouldy.

"The need is there – we get lots of cries of for help every day of the week – but we can't expand without a new roof. Day after day people are phoning up with donations of furniture or bedding.

"It is difficult for them to understand that we can't take it at the moment because of the lack of storage."

"I know there is premises out there for us. I just know it. But it is just the question of finding it."

She is at a loss to know where to turn after a decade speaking to various groups, councils, estate agents, churches and firms but still no nearer to finding a site.

The knock on affect is that the charity has problems recruiting volunteers without a suitable workplace. However, they are on the lookout for caring drivers.

The Port of Felixstowe donated a 40ft container, but it can't be used without the land to put it on.

The charity needs at least a year's lease (with the option of a second year) on secure premises of at least 1,000 sq ft, which is on one level, wheelchair friendly, dry, with electricity and preferably water.

It must be in the area of Bramford, Claydon, Great Blakenham, Needham Market, Sproughton and west Ipswich.

FIND is a Christian-based registered charity which was founded over ten years ago initially to provide basic needs such as cooking utensils, clothing, toiletries, food and baby equipment to the homeless, those living in a hostel or the refuge.

It now covers an area as far afield as Leiston and Sudbury for people deprived of a minimum standard of living.

These could range from people with mental health problems, single parents (male or female), the elderly, men or woman who have lost their job/home, the homeless … the list is endless.

"There's people who have lost their self-self esteem and don't know where to start," said Ms Reynel.

"They want to build themselves up but don't know how. They want a job, but need decent clothes and somewhere to live. It is easy to see the affluent side of the town, but there are great pockets of poverty.

"You can't put up the net curtains and close the doors on the situation and think that it doesn't exist."

The charity receives referrals from over 40 care and support agencies. Requests range from one item to a complete package to help an individual, or to help a family set up home.

If you can help, telephone her on 01473 833351.

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