A CHARITY founded in South Ockendon that has grown to serve people with learning difficulties and mental health issues across South Essex has been given a major cash boost.
BATIAS was set up in 1992 to support people with learning disabilities through the closure of a long stay hospital in South Ockendon and the service users transition into smaller homes in the local community.
It has since grown and offers different types of advocacy support and will now be able to continue the work it does thanks to a Â£65,072 grant over three years from Lloyds Bank Foundation.
The grant to contribute towards the salary cost of a Housing Support Advocate, to help continue the valued work the charity does in region where it partners a number of organisations including Essex County, Southend and Thurrock Councils.
Barbara Ward, Chief Officer of BATIAS, said: “For more than 600 people with learning disabilities each year, BATIAS is a beacon of hope, helping them live more independent lifestyles and ensuring that they can be actively involved in the community.
“The funding from Lloyds Bank Foundation will enable the charity to support more with making living arrangements, and to develop essential life skills along the way, such as budgeting, avoiding eviction, breaching tenancy agreements and keeping themselves safe.
“We were so delighted to receive the Lloyds Bank Foundation support. This will enable us to work more holistically and intensively with a group of people to allow them to develop their skills and confidence for more independent living. With our input they will be able to make informed choices about where and how they would like to live their lives and hopefully become valued members of the communities where they choose to settle.”
Paul Streets, CEO of Lloyds Bank Foundation, said: “As highlighted in our recent research, small and medium-sized charities have been hit hardest by changes to public funding yet at the same time, demand for their services has risen.
“We are more committed than ever to providing vital funding to charities like BATIAS Independent Advocacy Service, allowing them to grow and thrive, and to reach and help the people that really rely on them.”