A Huddersfield frontline mental health charity facing closure due to a funding crisis has managed to keep going … but its staff are now mainly working as volunteers to ensure it can continue to provide vital services.

Platform 1 revealed in mid-May it would shut within a couple of weeks unless it received £20,000 to keep its essential services going.

It’s the main charity helping people in Kirklees in mental health crisis and organisations referring people to Platform 1 for help include GPs, Kirklees Council, health services and the police.

Although four staff have taken redundancy, those who are left are now getting by on low part-time wages even though they are giving the charity a full-time commitment.

It means it’s continuing to provide main services such as counselling for people facing mental health crisis.

Fundraising is ongoing with the next event this Saturday (July 22) a sponsored walk by Honley Male Voice Choir who will be stopping to sing at five pubs en route in the Holme Valley.

These are the pubs they’ll be at and the times if people could listen to them sing and then throw some money into their collection buckets.

They are: 12.45pm Foresters Arms, Honley; 2.15pm Cricketers Arms, Netherthong; 3.20pm Clothiers Arms, Netherthong; 4.45pm The Rock Inn, Brockholes; 6pm Jacobs Well, Honley.

To donate to this event go to https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/honleymvcsponsoredwalk2023

Platform 1 project leader Gez Walsh (above) said: “We thought the charity was facing the end but we sat down as a group of trustees and came up with a plan which has meant we’ve managed to keep going but it’s only due to the determination of staff who have, more or less, agreed to work voluntarily.

“We just didn’t want the town to lose a service we’d spent so long building up to what it’s become and realised how many people were relying on us to keep going.”

The charity helps around 70 people a week and is now based in offices on Railway Street overlooking St George’s Square in Huddersfield town centre.

Platform 1 used to run workshops and other activities such as woodwork, IT, gardening, gaming and creative writing classes in its premises inside the station.

These were old portable buildings, an old train carriage plus a newly revamped Pacer train, along with bike sheds where people repaired old bikes and then sold them to raise money for the charity.

But the site 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 and the portable buildings becoming badly damp and mouldy. Electrics and water have now been cut to the site as it had become unsafe.

The Pacer train being lifted into Huddersfield Railway Station in July 2021

Platform 1’s ultimate ambition is to open this site again but it would need to demolish all the old buildings and replace them with a breeze block alternative.

The Pacer train that was lifted into place in July 2021 is in a good condition but is isolated amid all the damage. It used to be hired out to groups for meetings.

If you can support Platform 1 in any way contact Gez on 07512 018940 or email gez.pfm1@gmail.com

Platform 1 is Honley Male Voice Choir’s charity of the year and they will be having a fundraising concert on Friday, September 15 at Huddersfield Parish Church at 7.15pm. Entry will be free with people asked to donate to a collection on the night.

Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.