Further to the earlier announcement of the sad news that the Westbank Charity Shop at Starcross will be closing, the Board and Leadership Team of Westbank would like to provide further clarification on this decision, offer an apology and share some news on our exciting plans for the future.

The decision was an incredibly difficult one to make, and reflected changes beyond our control, predominantly as a result of COVID 19, in the last year.  The pandemic has taken its toll with all charities being hit hard, and many having to close their doors permanently. The Westbank Team quickly responded to the challenges of the past 18 months, and throughout that period extensive reviews of our financial position were ongoing, alongside adapting to our new methods of delivering our services.  The result in decision to close the shop was not taking lightly.

We fully appreciate how disappointing this news would be to the Starcross Community, as it was for us all at Westbank, and we would like to thank all those who have sent messages of support for their understanding.

We would also like to extend an apology.  Our last communication referred to Westbank's commitment to supporting the Starcross, and wider, community and our intention to look for ways to grow engagement and support within the local community.  We know many of you were hoping for more clarification regarding what this support looks like and we were sorry we were unable to provide this at the time.  Negotiations for some services are still underway, but we are now in a position to share the following recent development.

We are pleased to announce that we are introducing the new role of Starcross Community Support Co-ordinator.  This new role will be dedicated to building on, and growing the activity that Westbank delivers locally whilst also improving services, identifying and implementing new services and reaching even more of the community independently and via business partnering.

This engagement will take a number of new forms, and will include contribution from the Starcross Community via steering groups/participation forums.  Details on how you can take part in these will be shared at a later date together with updates on new services and activities to enhance those already in place such as table tennis, the Food Bank, the walking group and the volunteers and community connection services.

With thanks for all your support, from the Board and Leadership Team.