One of Huddersfield’s frontline mental health charities which helps around 70 people a week will shut in two weeks unless they can get £20,000 to keep its essential services going.

Platform 1 is the main charity helping people in Kirklees in mental health crisis but it’s run out of funding and all attempts to get more grants have proved futile.

Project leader Gez Walsh said: “We’ve tried so hard to get more funding but many organisations such as the health authorities and Kirklees Council have had their budgets cut.

“We are now getting people we help phoning up in tears as they become aware Platform 1 looks to be coming to an end. We provide a critical frontline service and these people in crisis who desperately need help will have nowhere else to go.

“It’s all absolutely heartbreaking. We had one lady phone us who said we were her last hope and then put the phone down. We tried to call her back but she didn’t answer.

“Covid changed the project beyond all recognition. We went into the pandemic as a men’s support group but came out as a mental health service offering qualified help and support to the whole community. We often deal with the difficult issues such as psychosis, suicides and suicide attempts.

“We have grown into a full mental health service working with the whole community including women, young people and children.”

Gez Walsh and counselling lead Bridget Fahy

“We are well-known for helping people in crisis but now we are facing a crisis of our own and need help,” added Gez.

“Many of our crisis interventions deal with day to day living problems such as housing issues or benefit problems, form filling or relationship problems.

“We deal with many people who find it difficult to access statutory services and many of the people we work with live in isolation. Some have no other means of help and self-harm. Lots of these people are hard to reach and can sometimes to be difficult to engage.

“We need to raise funds quickly so we can keep supporting people and communities who are in desperate need of our help.”

Platform 1 has been running support groups for people with cancer such as ovarian, breast and bowel cancer along with a prostate cancer support group supported by the surgical staff at local hospitals. There are also workshops and support for domestic violence and sexual abuse for both men and women.

Organisations referring people to Platform 1 for help include GPs, Kirklees Council, health services and the police.

The financial crisis the charity is now facing means Platform 1 may have to leave its offices in Railway Street next to St George’s Square by the start of June.

The only other potential option is to return to where it started in railway carriages next to Huddersfield Railway Station, but they suffered a massive flood caused by burst pipes last Christmas followed by an attempted burglary which damaged roofs and left many of the sheds wrecked.

Gez said: “The whole site is in a real state so there is no way we can use it for counselling. We are trying to rally anyone who can help us to repair the damage but it’s looking like a long shot at the moment.”

The Pacer train that was donated by BBC’s The One Show and lifted into place in July 2021 is in a good condition but is isolated amid all the damage.

The best option would be to demolish all the sheds and replace them with breeze block buildings but the charity has no money for that.

The site was used to repair bikes and sell them on as a fundraiser and was also a base for support groups, IT and cooking training. The Pacer train was also hired out to groups for meetings.

Gez said: “We help many hundreds of people every year and there is even a waiting list which shows that the demand for mental health help is there. If we disappear there will be no-one else to help them and we really fear what could happen next.”

To support Platform 1’s emergency appeal go to their JustGiving page HERE. Gez can be contacted on 07512 018940 or email

Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR ( specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.