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Thursday, 30 October 2014

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Barrow charity thanks landlord for help in time of crisis

HE simply stepped in to help a struggling charity when they found themselves out on the street.

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ONWARDS AND UPWARDS: Bob Heron officially opening Self Harm Awareness for the Furness Area’s new headquarters in Barrow with the mayor and mayoress of Barrow, Councillor Wendy Maddox (right) and Dorothy Ashburner JON GRANGER REF: 50043512B004

But when Furness businessman, Bob Heron, agreed to let a building to Self Harm Awareness for the Furness Area, he had no idea how big a part of his life the cause would become.

Having watched the work of the team at his property in 114 Duke Street, Barrow, Mr Heron was so inspired that he signed up to the charity’s board of directors.

SAFA arranged to rent the Duke Street base last year, after the team was forced to move out of Waterside House in Barrow.

Barrow Borough Council served all 19 tenants with an eviction notice in March, giving the small groups and businesses until June 1 to move out, after leasing the building to BAE Systems.

Mr Heron, the managing director of two Barrow firms, Subconsult and Hydrotest UK, said he was only too pleased to help SAFA.

“I’d moved out of my Duke Street premises and it was empty so when I heard about SAFA looking for somewhere new, I was only too pleased to help and try and make a difference,” Mr Heron said.

“They do a fantastic job and I’m a firm believer in trying to give something back to the community.”

SAFA chief executive Cindy Daltioni said, the team could not be happier with their new home or more grateful for Mr Heron’s contribution.

She said: “He has been 150 per cent supportive of the charity and its work.

“He was so moved by it and, the more he’s got to know it, the more he’s wanted to be part of it.”

As a thank you, SAFA has named its base Heron House.

Mrs Daltioni said: “Mainly it’s about recognising his efforts. He’s really got on board, and he’s done things that most landlords wouldn’t even think about.”

On Monday, SAFA proudly unveiled its newly-revamped building to the public.

Having started in Barrow in 2006 and gradually extending through the South Lakes, SAFA is now preparing to expand its service county-wide from March.

Talking about the success of her staff, volunteers and directors, Mrs Daltioni said: “Just to be able to show what we’ve achieved, how far we’ve come, it means lots to be able to share that with other people.

“I feel really blessed.”

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