Future of Halifax's Noah's Ark money advice service secured thanks to funding boost

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The future of Halifax money advice service Noah's Ark has been secured thanks to additional funding from the National Lottery Community Fund.

It means the service's work in the community will be funded for a further four years and relief for the service's staff, who say their help is needed like never before in Calderdale and it would have been a huge blow to people in the borough had it been lost.

Andrew Sykes, from Noah's Ark, said: "Back in May the Halifax Courier ran a story highlighting the funding difficulties we were experiencing.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"As things stood back then we would have had no choice but to consider redundancy for our key debt advice workers.

Andrew Sykes at Noah's Ark Centre, Ovenden.Andrew Sykes at Noah's Ark Centre, Ovenden.
Andrew Sykes at Noah's Ark Centre, Ovenden.

"Our project received no statutory funding from either Calderdale Council or the NHS and we were reliant on the generosity of grant funders.

"I’m really pleased that the National Lottery Community Fund is providing the lion's share - 65 per cent - of the money we need to run our project for the next four years.

"They have awarded a grant of just over £260,000 which is an extension to their first grant awarded in 2019, meaning seven years of funding in total.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"This is extremely good news for the people of Calderdale.

"Without this our service would have been forced to either close or significantly scale back service delivery.

"It would have had huge implications for our debt advice project, budgeting courses and food bank and would have been devastating for the people of Calderdale, coming at a time when they will need us like never before.

"The relief for my staff and I is palpable, not because their jobs are secured but because they’ll be able to continue doing the work they love."

Andrew says the centre's debt advice project is one of the most successful in the country and in the last five years, they have helped over 1,200 people in Calderdale to become debt free.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Andrew said: "Debt is destructive; it pushes people to the brink of suicide, ruins relationships and has a huge negative impact on mental health.

"I’ve been running our debt advice project for 12 years and 2022 has been a year like no other, one of the most challenging our community has faced in a generation.

"To give you an idea of the scale of our activity, in 2016 we helped 61 Calderdale families to become debt free - this year we expect it to be almost 400.

"It's easy to forget that, even despite the intervention from the government, energy prices are over double what they were last winter.

"Families are still facing some really challenging times: I think we need to pray for a mild winter.

"The funding from the National Lottery recognises the importance of face-to-face advice projects like ours, with all of our add on services like budgeting courses, mental health support, employment support and our food bank."Noah’s Ark is a community organisation that works hard to serve its community. We worked really hard to ensure that we’re still here, still able to do what we do.

"Calderdale needs Noah’s Ark and we’re proud to be able to continue to serve our community."