MEMBERS of the public must keep backing mental health charity Restore to guarantee its survival, a director has warned.

Lesley Dewhurst, co-director of the charity based in Manzil Way, East Oxford, said staff need to bring in fundraising of about £300,000 a year.

Ms Dewhurst said the charity received up to £1.3m a year funding from Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group but that is not enough to cover the cost of the work it needs to do all year round.

She added: “Our income from the Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership contract is £1.15m a year but our total expenditure is £1.6m.

“Some of that shortfall is covered by sales from our two cafes and our shops.

“However, we have approximately £300,000 to raise each year.”

Ms Dewhurst spoke out after Restore was named the winner of The Oxford Times Charity and Community Award at the Oxfordshire Business Awards earlier this month.

The charity supports people to take control of their recovery, develop skills and lead meaningful lives.

It offers recovery groups, training and employment coaching to make this possible.

Ms Dewhurst added: “Restore has been going for 40 years and people love the work we do.

“The public perception is that we will be here forever but that may not be the case unless we are adequately funded and we need the continuing support of our fundraising volunteers.”

Ms Dewhurst said she was hopeful that the charity’s award win would attract donations.

She added: “The Government has pledged to put more money into mental health services but it does need to put actions into words when it comes to achieving parity with funding for physical health.

“If not enough money is invested in mental health services this could lead to more pressure on physical health further down the line.”

The charity’s cafe and gardens in Manzil Way off Cowley Road will be open tomorrow for the Cowley Road Carnival.

Staff will use the carnival as a chance to showcase work the charity does to hundreds of people and sell items made by its ‘members’ - those experiencing mental health problems.

Ms Dewhurst added: “We look forward to the carnival every year - Restore is based just off the Cowley Road and it’s an opportunity to show people what we do and raise hundreds of pounds at the same time.”

The charity also has a base at Fleet Meadow in Didcot and one in Banbury.

It helps people with mental health problems move back into training, employment and volunteering and there are six recovery groups across the county.

A coaching service also works with members on a one-to-one basis.

Restore also supports Oxfordshire Recovery College, run on a national model of delivering support to people with mental health issues.

Courses can be co-produced by mental health experts and those who have experienced mental health difficulties. As well as the gardens in Manzil Way Restore members look after the Elder Stubbs allotments in Rymers Lane, opposite Florence Park.