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Eden Mencap urgently needs to buy its building

Eden Mencap has launched a fundraising campaign to raise £200,000 Photo: ITV News Border

A charity in Penrith fears it'll be made homeless unless it can find £200,000 to buy its building this year.

Eden Mencap has moved three times in ten years and now faces having to move again.

"It's currently under lease, we have a 5-year lease, which is fabulous, but we've moved 3 times in 10 years. We don't want to have to move again in 5 years. If we don't buy the building this year, it's a possibility that the building will be sold on, we'll still be here but it means that after 5 years we might have to move, so we do need to buy the building. The guys need somewhere that they can call their own: it's their own home; it's their building; they can do with it what they want. If we own the building, we can put some new bathrooms in, we can put some tracking and hoisting in, we can support more people with more disabilities."

– Jacqui Taylor, Eden Mencap
Abbie-Rose Farmer says she'd be lost without Eden Mencap Credit: ITV News Border

The charity works with around 80 people with disabilities. It's a place where they can make friends, learn life skills and gain independence.

If it owned its building, it would like to give the users the chance to decorate it and make it their home.

"I wouldn't have anything to do or anywhere to go because this is where I go to like see my friends and have catch up and see my friends and do independent activities. Sometimes we do cooking and baking, like independent skills that you need when you're at home."

– Abbie-Rose Farmer, from Penrith
Karl Wilkinson loves gardening. His mum says Mencap's his world. Credit: ITV News Border

Karl Wilkinson from Kirkby Stephen spends almost every day at Mencap, where he's developed a love of gardening.

"It's his absolute world. He absolutely loves coming to Mencap. I don't know what he would do without it or how he would fill his days. It gives him so much independence and he yeah just loves coming. It's his life."

– Sue Wilkinson, Karl's Mum

"I just like being busy. Just generally busy. I like to see a tidy garden at the end of it."

– Karl Wilkinson, from Kirkby Stephen

"It gives him so much confidence and meeting different people. Sometimes with other people he's quite quiet but yeah you can definitely see that it comes out in him when he's here more."

– Chelsea Wilkinson, Karl's Sister
Eden Mencap needs to buy its building by end of 2016. Credit: ITV News Border

If the charity doesn't buy the building by the end of 2016, the current owners may have to sell the building, which means the charity could have to move at the end of its lease.

Renting doesn't afford them the flexibility to be able to tailor the building for the needs of specific disabilities.

It has had to take down the cubicles in the downstairs toilet because it's claustrophobic for some users, but that means only one person can use the toilet at a time. It would like to transform it into a wet room, with hoists.

The charity cares for around 80 people with varying disabilities. Credit: ITV News Border