Lifesaving Beachy Head charity under threat of closure

Beachy Head Lighthouse at low tide

Beachy Head Lighthouse at low tide

First published in News by , Health reporter

A CHARITY which works to saves the lives of suicidal people at a beauty spot is at risk of closing.

The Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team urgently needs £15,000 by the end of June and £50,000 over the next three months if it is to carry on its vital service.

The team, which has been running for more than a decade, came to the rescue of 364 people last year.

The charity, which recently moved to a new home in the Trinity Centre in Eastbourne, is now calling on businesses, organisations and local people to help provide short term support.

Director Mark Pybus said: “If we don’t get a significant amount of funding by the end of June we might not be here. It takes £200,000 a year to run the service we run and we can’t get core funding at the moment, that’s the issue. If we don’t exist there’ll be more deaths.”

In the last decade the charity has responded to about 6,500 incidents and carried out 2,500 rescues. It has been working to find the funding it needs, which included appointing a dedicated fundraiser, but has not found the core funds it needs to keep going.

Mr Pybus said the team has been financially operating hand-to-mouth for some time.

He added: “We need £50,000 in three months to keep us alive, that’s the minimum, and £15,000 by the end of June.”

He said the charity was now facing the prospect of having to sell off its equipment to pay wages and if that happened the service would have to end.

He added: “If the money doesn’t come in and we have to sell our assets there’ll be nothing left.

“We have 14 fantastic volunteers but if the money’s not there then the equipment we rely on will be gone and there’ll be nothing. It’s that simple and that horrific at the same time.”

The team was involved in 865 searches last year, a rise of 12% on the year before and demand is increasing.

It is a Christian chaplaincy, specialising in crisis intervention and search and rescue and works closely with Sussex Police and the Coastguard.

It costs around £200,000 a year to run the charity.

Anyone interested in helping with funding can visit www.bhct.org.uk or call 01323 301200.

Comments (6)

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7:45am Fri 30 May 14

jamie-hove says...

This is very sad. That is where the money should be spent - helping those in real need, not paying to police drunks and drug addicts in James street after pride party. I hope others will support their funding. I will.
This is very sad. That is where the money should be spent - helping those in real need, not paying to police drunks and drug addicts in James street after pride party. I hope others will support their funding. I will. jamie-hove
  • Score: 11

9:57am Fri 30 May 14

kerryfee says...

What costs £200,000?? All staff are volunteers.
Ok cost of phones and maybe one full time admin staff £25,000.
Could share office space with another charity or church.
I think they do a fantastic job and will make a donation but I would like to know what drives running costs so high.
What costs £200,000?? All staff are volunteers. Ok cost of phones and maybe one full time admin staff £25,000. Could share office space with another charity or church. I think they do a fantastic job and will make a donation but I would like to know what drives running costs so high. kerryfee
  • Score: 8

10:56am Fri 30 May 14

wippasnapper says...

Why do these volunteers need money I mean it’s up to there good matcher and there willing love for life to walk the cliffs day after day to save these poor sols and anyway if people want to trough themselves off the cliff why stop them after all sometimes its for the best LOL are yes I have no heart.
Why do these volunteers need money I mean it’s up to there good matcher and there willing love for life to walk the cliffs day after day to save these poor sols and anyway if people want to trough themselves off the cliff why stop them after all sometimes its for the best LOL are yes I have no heart. wippasnapper
  • Score: -9

12:55pm Fri 30 May 14

ZeeGee, ffs says...

I love the ' give us the money or people will die' threat.
I love the ' give us the money or people will die' threat. ZeeGee, ffs
  • Score: -10

3:41pm Fri 30 May 14

Mr chock says...

ZeeGee, ffs wrote:
I love the ' give us the money or people will die' threat.
remember my views on suicide zeeGee its a lot of money to "save The team, which has been running for more than a decade, came to the rescue of 364 people last year. ...... " i am not that good at maths but its almost one a day ?
and also whatever is the samaritans doing at Beachy head if this other nicey nicey voluntary group is there dooing goood deeds .. so once again the law on suicide should be made clear if your feeling depressed or just want to die before your time Dont make it illegals simples.............

BTW someone told me in a comment last week only one good place to commit suicide at beachy head still need to know that location so i can cloud fund a diving board and a skip at the bottom
[quote][p][bold]ZeeGee, ffs[/bold] wrote: I love the ' give us the money or people will die' threat.[/p][/quote]remember my views on suicide zeeGee its a lot of money to "save The team, which has been running for more than a decade, came to the rescue of 364 people last year. ...... " i am not that good at maths but its almost one a day ? and also whatever is the samaritans doing at Beachy head if this other nicey nicey voluntary group is there dooing goood deeds .. so once again the law on suicide should be made clear if your feeling depressed or just want to die before your time Dont make it illegals simples............. BTW someone told me in a comment last week only one good place to commit suicide at beachy head still need to know that location so i can cloud fund a diving board and a skip at the bottom Mr chock
  • Score: -13

9:15am Tue 3 Jun 14

Juleyanne says...

This vital service must be saved and I plead with businesses, organisations ad the public to dig deep as a matter of life and death! Life has a habit of taking sharp turns and none of us know what cards life will deal us at any time and how we will or will not cope. For those who arrive at the point of utter despair and see no other way out of difficult or what seems like impossible situations
this vital service is there. The proof is in the pudding, they have been there at people's 11th hour and made a difference between life and death. There are countless families, friends and colleagues that still have a father, mother, sister or brother purely because 'they were there at that time'.
To those who question it's importance, fortunately for them it has not as yet, been someone close to them in crisis and imminent danger and they would thank their lucky stars if the Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team were there for them or their relative, friend or colleague in the future if it was!
This service saves lives, lots of lives and must be saved.
This vital service must be saved and I plead with businesses, organisations ad the public to dig deep as a matter of life and death! Life has a habit of taking sharp turns and none of us know what cards life will deal us at any time and how we will or will not cope. For those who arrive at the point of utter despair and see no other way out of difficult or what seems like impossible situations this vital service is there. The proof is in the pudding, they have been there at people's 11th hour and made a difference between life and death. There are countless families, friends and colleagues that still have a father, mother, sister or brother purely because 'they were there at that time'. To those who question it's importance, fortunately for them it has not as yet, been someone close to them in crisis and imminent danger and they would thank their lucky stars if the Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team were there for them or their relative, friend or colleague in the future if it was! This service saves lives, lots of lives and must be saved. Juleyanne
  • Score: 11

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