A mental health charity is appealing for help to prevent its imminent closure, warning vulnerable people would have “nowhere else to go”.
Pillar Kincardine has been based in Stonehaven for 28 years, but will have to close its doors within weeks unless they can secure “core” funding.
The outfit has been struggling since its revenue from running services for Aberdeenshire Council stopped at the end of last year.
Pillar bosses declined to renew the contract because they were unhappy with changes to the service introduced as part of cost-cutting efforts by the local authority.
Several drop-in centres were closed in the shake-up.
Moira Hurry, Pillar Kincardine service manager, said the closure of the charity would leave a “huge gap”.
She said: “No other service is delivering what we deliver.
“People are still being referred to us and, importantly, they can still walk through our door and meet someone person to person.
“If we go, then those people will have nowhere else to go.”
The charity supports people in and around Kincardine and Mearns who are coping with serious emotional, social or mental health difficulties and is holding a public meeting to offer an insight into the “positive impact” it has had.
Wendy Brown turned to Pillar when she hit rock bottom “suffering in silence” with anxiety and depression and says its counsellors “truly saved my life”.
She has organised a fundraising cycling challenge in May to coincide with Mental Health Week to raise cash to keep the Pillar doors open.
“There are more than 70 members coming through the doors for support at the moment – Pillar has transformed their lives as it has mine.”
The public meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 18 in Stonehaven community Centre at 7pm and will include talks from people who have been helped by Pillar Kincardine.
A spokesman for Aberdeenshire Council said it recognised the “great work Pillar do” and offered to help find financial backing.
“We are required to re-tender for services to ensure best value for the public,” he said.
“Unfortunately Pillar decided not to submit a response to the invitation to tender. We received five excellent bids and following a fair and transparent process SAMH were awarded the contract for South Aberdeenshire.
“We hope Pilar are able to source additional funding and are happy to offer any advice which would enable them to do so.”