Before Christmas the future of the charity was in doubt, but an urgent fundraising appeal led by the then mayor Ian Roome saw more than £25,000 raised to keep it going. The charity helps around 220 in the town every week to stay independent and in their own homes through a variety of services and with the help of its many volunteers. But in recent years, regular funding has dried up and it faced closure twice in the past 18 months. The county council has confirmed funding for this year and at its request the charity has developed a business plan. It is hoped this will enable it to be more sustainable in the future and less reliant on grant funding. On Friday, August 9, the Age Concern Barnstaple premises in Litchdon Street were visited by DCC councillors Andrew Leadbetter and John Mathews, council chairman and Barnstaple councillor to present a cheque for £25,000. Mr Leadbetter, cabinet member for adult social care, said the council wanted the charity to be sustainable and it was work with it to ensure that. He said: "I recognise what a valuable job Age Concern do in Barnstaple and I was very keen to help them continue that good work. "Without a doubt the people they are helping would end up needing social care and they are definitely fulfilling a need." Geoff Goldsworthy, chairman of trustees, said the charity needed the county council's support and they were grateful they were getting it after 12 months of hard work by the trustees. He praised the volunteers too, adding: "The amount of hours they put in to help older people stay in their own homes in this area is fantastic. "I personally would have liked to see a contract between us and Devon County Council guaranteeing funding for the next two to three years, but we are happy with what they have done - we can see there's light at the end of the tunnel." Age Concern Barnstaple also relies on donations from local people, which can be dropped at its Litchdon Street premises or via www.justgiving.com\/campaign\/ageconcernbarnstaple. To find out about its services or if you would like to volunteer, call 01271 324488.