Age Concern Barnstaple has received emergency funding from Devon County Council to enable it to continue until the end of March 2019.

The Gazette reported in August that the service was set to close for good at the end of October unless more money could be found.

The reprieve gives the charity, which provides befriending and visiting services for elderly people to enable them to stay in their own homes, more time to find a permanent solution.

The council has said the charity must find a minimum of £25,000 per year if it is to continue receiving funding from DCC in 2019 and beyond.

Andrea Scott, director at Age Concern Barnstaple, said: “This good news has been well-received by clients, volunteers and the board or trustees, who wish to thank DCC, Peter Heaton-Jones MP, Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, the mayor of Barnstaple Ian Roome and town clerk Rob Ward.

“Plus the many other local organisations that joined in praise of the charity’s services for elderly people in Barnstaple and the surrounding area and emphasised the need for those to continue and be available in the future.”

Ms Scott said the charity had agreed to work closely with the Creative Innovation and Growth (CIAG) programme and other partners in the coming months to maintain the service.

The CIAG Programme is a new package of support available to adult social care organisations in Devon, which includes business advice, grants funding and leadership development workshops.

The county council has said it will not be able to provide emergency funding in future years and investment from April 2019 will be dependent on Age Concern Barnstaple having a ‘sustainable business plan’.

Cllr Leadbetter, who is DCC cabinet member for adult care and health, said: “I am pleased to have been able to support Age Concern Barnstaple in this financial year as we recognise the important work they do.

“I look forward to meeting with the trustees and volunteers and receiving their proposals for the future of the charity.”