Centre threatened with closure opens its doors to the public to raise its profile

A centre run by a charity threatened with closure is throwing open its doors to the public in a bid to attract more financial help.
 
Erewash Mental Health Association's Touchwood Centre in Ilkeston is having an open week starting from Monday (March 19).
 
The Charlotte Street centre, which opens each weekday, offers a welcoming, safe and supportive environment where up to 40 adults with mental health issues can have a meal, take part in various activities including learning life skills and computer training, recreation and sport, and receive help and support.
 
The association used to receive a public grant but that ended last March, leaving the centre facing a cash crisis and possible closure within months.
 
Now it is fighting back, having appointed a fund raiser and keen to show just how much its services are needed and valued by users who are vulnerable and regard the centre as a lifeline.
 
The public will be able to see activities including holistic and beauty therapies, chair-based exercises, mindfulness, and competitions when the centre opens to the public from 10.30am-2.30pm. 
 
And they will be joined by the borough's first citizen, when the Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Mary Hopkinson, pops into the centre on Monday at 11am to see for herself the work done.
 
Centre manager Lynn Orchard said the idea behind the open week was raise the profile of the centre  and arouse interest from people and organisations who may be able to give assistance.
 
“We want more people to see exactly what we do here and spread the word about what we can offer,” she said.
 
“Hopefully, that will attract benefactors who will help keep the centre going.”