Dark days as curtain bank runs out of cash

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(Keywords: thermal fabric, Hollow Fiber)

Despite unprecedented demand, the Dunedin Curtain Bank could be forced to close its doors in four weeks as its operational funds run dry.

The Dunedin Curtain Bank Trust, which gives free thermal curtains to those in need, spends about $80,000 a year, covering things such as rent, utilities and the thermal fabric used to make curtains.

thermal fabric, Hollow Fiber

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However, with $14,000 in the bank and its insurance cover expiring yesterday, trust manager Tess Trotter said the charity was on its last legs and ”will need to shut the door”.

Some of the money left in the bank was tagged for volunteer expenses and could not be used on rent, insurance or wages, she said.

She had been advised by the trust’s treasurer it had enough funds to operate until mid-June.

Ms Trotter said she worked 30 hours a week and the trust’s machinist, Marilyn Cook, worked 10 hours a week – the equivalent of one full-time staff member.

There was also a core of about 15 volunteers who worked 60 hours a week.

Mrs Cook said the trust had never been so busy.

”There are people in here every day,” she said.

”We have been inundated.

”I am flat-out altering the curtains and lining, which is a big job.”

Ms Trotter said there was still some hope the trust could continue.

A Givealittle page had been set up in a bid to raise funds to allow it to continue operating through the winter.

”We are really hopeful that we will get some community donations through that,” she said.

”We have got an insurance bill which has just come in.”

It would cost $600 and the insurance company strongly recommended additional cover, she said.

Last Saturday, they held a bake sale and sausage sizzle, which raised $473.

The trust’s iron had also broken and a new one would cost $500-$600.

A domestic iron was being used in the interim. As a result, curtains took longer to make.

The trust was also cancelling some services, such as rubbish collection, to save on costs.

But the trust could not afford to keep up with demand.

”Last month, we had 27 [referrals] in the whole month compared to 17 last year,” she said.

”The number of referrals is up by 30% this year at the end of April.”

In May last year, they had 30 referrals for the month, while ”in the last two weeks, we have had 29 referrals”.

The trust secured grants worth $60,000 last year, ”but the trust was still left with a deficit of $20,000”.

”We need to usually find about $20,000 extra to cover our business operating expenses,” she said.

”I guess it’s about asking people to help us to help others.

”Winter is coming. This is our important time and it’s unfortunate to be in the position we are in – a financial crunch at this time.

”Every little donation makes a big difference.”

-By Julie Howard

thermal fabric, Hollow Fiber



Source : https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/dark-days-curtain-bank-runs-out-cash