A £71,000 windfall has enabled a Keighley voluntary group to employ paid workers.

The Welcome Project has opened a town centre base to further its work supporting self-help activities for local people.

The Keighley News a fortnight ago told how the Welcome Project had been given the money by Bradford Mental Health Association when it disbanded.

Welcome Project founder Shona Grange said her own organisation tried to create a welcome for people who might be isolated for a variety of reasons.

She said: “Good mental health happens when you are busy doing something else.

“We try to have a lot of opportunities for people to get together and focus on what they can do for others, rather than focusing on their own weaknesses.”

Mrs Grange said that before receiving the money, the project’s work had to be done voluntarily.

She said: “The funding has allowed us to set up the Welcome Project as a co-operative Community Interest Company with a mentor from the Co-op Social Enterprise Hub.”

The Welcome Project began in 2011 with Not Over The Hill Yet! (NOTHY!), a social group for over-50s in Haworth.

The project now works with all ages, running well-being cafes in Haworth and Oxenhope, an allotment, a lunch group and the Artful Jammy Dodgers community radio project.