Community support

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000

Description

Presteigne and Norton Community Support (PNCS) operates a transport scheme using volunteer drivers to enable members of the community to attend, primarily, medical appointments, and has been doing this for 20 years.

Presteigne is a small town of little more than 2,500 residents on the welsh border. Whilst there is a small medical centre in the town, many medical appointments require travel to Hereford, Llandrindod Wells, or often further afield.

Most of the funds raised to operate this scheme come from 2 charity shop operations. One is a small shop selling clothes, books and other small items. The other (known as "The Warehouse") sells furniture, electrical goods and other household items. The latter is housed in an old garage workshop which, whilst basically secure and dry, is in dire need of internal improvements. Not only is that business a source of income for the charity, it provides the small community with a source of affordable items. There are no other places in the town selling furniture, for example. (Apart from a couple of antique shops, which are clearly not servicing the same market.) It also provides part-time employment for two people, assisted by volunteers.

Until recently, the main office and sorting area for incoming items has been housed in The Old Drill Hall, a property owned by Powys County Council. However, Powys CC have indicated their desire to sell the building as they try to dispose of some properties and at the same time generate much needed cash. For this reason, PNCS has taken the decision to relocate its office to a small property in the main High Street, where it will be much more central to, and visible to, the community. However, in the old premises, there was also a large area utilised for receiving donations, and sorting and storing them. Although many donations are well meant, unfortunately many are not really saleable!

It is necessary, therefore, to find somewhere else to carry out this function. There is an area in The Warehouse that would fit the purpose, but at present is not of an acceptable standard for people to work in there comfortably. Improving this area and providing suitable storage would be a major part of this project. Any funds left after that would be used to improve the retail area of the Warehouse to make it more attractive to customers, and more comfortable for the staff.

We have spoken to a local builder who is well known to us and he has made a number of suggestions how the area can be made usable, depending upon the funds available. He has also offered to discount his rates to help the project go ahead.

We believe that these improvements will raise the profile and image of the charity locally, thus increasing both donations and sales. It should also help us to attract more volunteer helpers. This in turn will ensure the sustainability of the organisation in the future and could also allow us to explore other ways in which we can support the community.

Presteigne and Norton Community Support

Location: Presteigne

PNCS provides a valuable service to the community, allowing many older residents to maintain their independence and continue living in their own homes. It is supported by many enthusiastic volunteers. In 2016/17 our drivers covered over 33,000 miles, on more than 1,000 journeys.
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