Spalding’s Pennygate Foundation in fresh bid to stay open and offer a lifeline to the troubled

Pennygate Foundation trustee Brenda Wickham hopes planning issues can be resolved. SG170217-113TW
Pennygate Foundation trustee Brenda Wickham hopes planning issues can be resolved. SG170217-113TW
Have your say

Pennygate Foundation is making a fresh bid to keep open its Spalding health and wellbeing centre as a lifeline for people with troubles.

The centre at 204 Pennygate operates under a three-year planning consent that expires at the end of October.

Earlier this year the district council refused a retrospective application for changes to buildings and voiced concerns that the foundation was operating outside its existing consent.

Neighbours also complained of looking out at ‘eyesore’ tops of buildings.

Revised plans have been submitted for continued use of the health and wellbeing centre, including existing extensions to the side and rear and a detached function room to the rear.

The foundation says it is working with planning expert Gordon Smith, from Matrix Planning, as it tries to resolve all of the planning issues to everyone’s satisfaction.

Foundation trustee Brenda Wickham says: “We are quietly optimistic. We are just hoping it is going to be successful this time.”

The foundation is supporting its bid with comments from centre users, including 99 questionnaires completed in January/February. The top reason people gave for attending was affordable cooked meals (61), followed by meeting new people/finding a listening ear (34), loneliness (28) and support for depression (25).

The foundation reveals 466 people used the centre between January and April for problems to do with mental health, such as anxiety, serious illnesses, including cancer, domestic abuse, homelessness, eviction and debt.

Help with form filling was the most common request (158), followed by money problems (117).

One elderly man writes of his late wife developing dementia and says he would have found it very hard to cope without the foundation.

He says: “Unfortunately my wife passed away at 91 years, I am now alone.

“I miss her dreadfully but at the centre people talk to me about her and it helps me in my grief and loneliness of life without her.”

• Email your views to