Cash boost for Paisley centre that provides counselling for kids as young as 5

The director of the Wynd Centre has branded a grant cash boost a “lifeline” that will help them restore their vital counselling service for children as young as five.

John Stewart revealed the Paisley hub has been handed £42,000 to help cover costs after lockdown left them with no income from March but with bills still to pay.

He believes the investment will crucially help them get kitted out for a safe return, meaning they can get their much-needed mental health support service back up and running.

John, 78, said: “We have been closed down since March but have still had to pay for various things to keep the centre going like insurance and utilities.

“This funding is an absolute lifeline for us as it will enable the centre to meet the government’s mitigation requirements to us to reopen.

“That will probably be in phase four of the government’s route out of lockdown plan.

“The priority is to ensure our nationally recognised counselling service can restart our one-to-one service as soon as

“When the centre closed there were 60 clients aged from five years old up to adults being helped by 40 trained volunteer

“In this situation with lockdown and Covid-19, counselling could be even more important than ever so it’s vital we get back up and running as soon as possible.”

As well as its counselling service, The Wynd Centre is home to 30 other organisations that use its facilities including PACE, SSAFA and Victim Support.

Awarded The Queen’s award for Voluntary Service, it was renovated and reopened in 2001 by HRH Princess Anne.

John, who was the centre’s first chairman back in 1984, believes the community will greatly benefit from the cash handout, with £25,000 donated by the Retail Leisure and Hospitality Support Fund and £17,000 gifted by the Third Sector Resilience Fund.

He added: “This money will help us keep ticking over until we get our income streams back in

“The centre is very important for the community, and not just for the counselling

“Around 30 groups use the centre and many support those who need help the most.

“That being said, we will only reopen when we know it is absolutely safe to do so both for our staff and for those visiting the centre.”

Daily Record – Paisley