TWO-well established Bury charities have merged in a bid to beat funding cuts and improve services for people with learning disabilities.

Contact Community Care and Bury Independent Living Development (BuryILD) have joined forces and will now be run as one charity.

They will provide support for people in their own homes, as well as social and leisure support in the community.

A coffee morning was held at Bury United Reformed Church in Parsons Lane to celebrate the merger.

Kathy McIver, from Contact, explained: “Our 25-year-old organisation had been threatened with closure, following the loss of core funding. This would have spelled the end of the popular Contact social groups and allotment project, supportin g more than 30 people with disabilities.

“Successful discussions have now led to Contact being incorporated as a division of BuryILD, with greater financial stability and plans for expanding the service to more people.”

Tracey Crabtree, general manager of BuryILD, stressed that the merger was in the interests of both charities.

She added: “BuryILD provide support based on individuals’ needs, ranging from 24-hour care in the person’s own home, to a few hours’ assistance each week. The new developments will enable it to enhance the range of options it offers.”

l Anyone interested in BuryILD’s service, or would like to get involved as a volunteer with the Contact leisure project: call 0161 763 6471 or visit