In a city where community support can make all the difference, Base 51 charity in Nottingham has been a beacon of hope for young people facing difficult challenges and now it’s under threat of closure.

Founded with the noble mission of providing crucial services to the youth, the organisation has found itself grappling with the harsh reality of budget cuts imposed by the Nottingham City Council.

Base 51 is a charity which focuses on early intervention, specialist trauma support (including violent crime, exploitation, sexual abuse), LGBTQIA+ peer support group, and offers counselling all for Nottingham’s 11-25 year olds. They also provide practical support for the youth, with a kitchen, food parcels, showers, laundry and clothes bank. From October to December last year the charity provided over 400 meals to young people that visited their centre.

Credit: Base 51

The charity has had to relocate to a building in Castle Gate due to “insurmountable” financial restrictions. They say the council have reduced funding for youth programs all throughout the city, with the complete withdrawal of their finan

cial support from Base 51 in early 2022. The charity now relies heavily on community support, food donations and a volunteer program that was only recently set up.

Base 51 has always been known as a vital safe place for the cities vulnerable, with over 1500 young people relying on their services. Rumours and uncertainty still circulates, as even though they have managed to relocate, the city council owns the building they currently reside in.

In early January 2023, the charity received “distressing” news that the council has gone back on what they called Base 51’s “assurances” from May 2022, that Base 51 could access it’s £150,000 “sinking fund” (funds put aside by the charity to maintain the building) to cover increasing building bills and up-keep. The move, said the charity, would leave it once again in an “exceptionally difficult position”, including now looking into relocation of it’s services again.

“It would be a travesty for all this to be lost if the reason is that the council is seeking to sell the facility to cover holes in it’s finances” states Peter Morley, chair of the board of trustees.

A Nottingham City council spokesperson responded saying they are due to meet Base 51 to explore options for their continued operations in the city, as part of their ongoing support for the organisation to become self-sustained.

                             Credit: NottsTV

It is a difficult time period for all organisations at the moment, especially with the cost of living crisis looming. Verity Woods talks about how difficult it is for people to donate to help the charity, as more people are financially struggling. However, she and the rest of the team appreciate any little support they do receive even if it is in a slightly different way.

Audio: Verity Woods, Base 51, Head of Fundraising

There are over 17,500 children living in poverty in Nottingham, with 54 of the city wards ranking in the top 10% of the most deprived in the country. With ongoing cost of living crisis, the situation is becoming a lot worse for people and now with the threat of closure to the Base 51, people are beginning to loose a substantial amount of hope for these adolescents.

“We often have people come up to us at stalls saying you changed my life, you saved my life. Without you I would have been on the streets, would’ve been in jail, would’ve been dead…”

VERITY WOODS, HEAD OF FUNDRAISING AT BASE 51 CHARITY

This exclaims just how essential it is to keep the charity operating with it’s best services to prevent young people in Nottingham from ending up the way she describes.

Website links for those who are wanting to help and support this charity:

Base 51 Charity Website

Volunteer sign up program