FIGURES FROM THE Bourne Trust, the Catholic charity which provides support and counselling to prisoners and their families, reveal that it is nearly back in the black after stringent cost-cutting and renewed fund-raising efforts helped to claw back a debt of over 435,000.
There were fears that the Trust, formerly the Catholic Social Service for Prisoners, might face closure after two consecutive years of heavy deficits, but the charity's annual 1992/3 report, sent out to members this week along with its Easter Appeal, revealed that the deficit had been dramatically reduced to only £1,166.
The Trust's chairman, Robert Beech, admitted that this year had been "one of the most difficult in recent times", but welcomed the financial turn-around: "Although we have another difficult 12 months ahead as far as our funding is concerned, the committee are now very optimistic in the medium term."
The charity still needed to build up future reserves so that it could operate confi dently in the future, "rather than be in a permanent sta e of struggle", he said.
Savings had been brought about through a 13 per cent increase in revenues, mainly from appeals to private Trust Funds, and a 5 per cent reduction in costs, partly through ageing welfare sta The Trust which cou sels the families of prisoners their homes as well as p soners themselves recen opened a play area for c dren visiting their parents London's Wormwood Scru • s prison.