A DARLINGTON homelessness charity has received a £7,500 donation to support its vital work in the community.

The Deposit Protection Service (DPS), the UK’s largest supplier of tenancy deposit protection services, has awarded the money to the 700 Club.

From its base in Grange Road, the 700 Club provides advice and shelter for homeless people, especially those whose lives are most chaotic as a result of drug, alcohol and mental health problems.

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The organisation offers a wide range of services, including support to address the issues that prevent people living independently, 24/7 emergency accommodation and a Bond Deposit Scheme.

John Elliston, chief executive of the charity, said the money will be vital to support the homeless and that it will be put to good use.

He said: “The grant from The DPS will be used to enhance the bond deposit scheme, extending the service it offers to the most chaotic and difficult clients who would usually be excluded from the private rented sector because of their chaotic lifestyles and/or their poor history as tenants”.

Founded in 1996, the charity has supported a great number of homeless people and received donations from high-profile supporters including former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

In 2013, the charity secured 127 tenancies in the private rental sector for excluded people.

A 36-year-old client, who had been living rough for 12 months due to a relationship breakdown, said the charity has changed his life.

Mr Elliston said he hopes more people will be able to say the same as a result of the DPS donation.

DPS director Kevin Firth said: “It is humbling to see the painstaking work The 700 Club undertakes on a daily basis to improve people’s lives.

“I wish them every success and look forward to hearing about the difference this award will make in the coming months.”

Applications are now open for the next round of funding from The DPS Charitable Donations Fund, with up to £20,000 available each quarter.

For more information visit depositprotection.com/charity.

If you are in need of help, or require more information about the charity, call 01325-366397.