All Hope is not lost – for now

Pauline Carruthers, right, chief executive officer of the HOPE charity, with Andrea Miller, voluntary service manager for the charity based on Northway.  Picture by Andrew Higgins  124210a   15/10/12
Pauline Carruthers, right, chief executive officer of the HOPE charity, with Andrea Miller, voluntary service manager for the charity based on Northway. Picture by Andrew Higgins 124210a 15/10/12
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A cash-strapped sex abuse charity which has helped Jimmy Savile’s victims has been granted a stay of execution – after it was promised money from the disgraced DJ’s estate.

Scarborough-based HOPE this week announced it would shut after it failed to hear back about a funding bid from the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust.

But founder Pauline Carruthers claims the trust has now promised her a cheque – although it still might not be enough.

“Apparently we’ve been told that we’ve been successful, but we don’t know if it’s for £100, £5,000 or £50,000,” said Pauline.

Earlier this year, Pauline revealed she had pinned all survival hopes on securing money from shamed Savile’s estate – claiming the millionaire’s money should help his victims.

HOPE, which helps around 200 abuse victims annually, needs roughly £100,000 per year to survive in its current capacity.

Alternatively, Pauline claims she can run a downsized support service for around £15,000.

“We told them what we needed but we don’t know what they are going to offer us – it might be enough but it might not be,” added Pauline.

“They say they’ve had problems printing cheques.”

There are thought to be up to 40 different good causes and charities awaiting cheques from the Savile estate.

A board of trustees meet every few months to decide on who gets funding.

HOPE’S bid was submitted in January, with a decision made in March.

“We thought we’d have known something by March, or April at the very latest.

“We’d given it up as a bad job but obviously they’ve sorted it out.

“We just need to sit and wait for the cheque and hope it’s enough.”

The charity was founded in 2003, and despite once having 70 members of staff is now run by volunteers. Since the Savile revelations, the number of victims seeking help has doubled.