A quick plug for the Darlington Bond Scheme, which was set up to bridge the gap for people wishing to move into private rented accommodation but who cannot raise the usual first month's rent or bond.
The scheme provides a guarantee to Darlington landlords to underwrite their costs in the event of loss or damage to their property, up to an agreed limit.
It plays a key role in the town in helping to combat homelessness, but has to rely on supporters, who make a pledge or pledges which cover the cost of any tenants who may default. To give you an idea of the scale of the scheme, they have registered 166 people in the last 6 months, and have provided advice to a further 27 people. They currently have 50 lettings covering bonds totally £13,560.
Each pledge is valued at £100 pa, but don't panic - only a small proportion of that is ever needed, which this year was 12% (and so each pledge "costs" £12). I've just sent off this year's cheque for my pledges - if you would like to contribute to this vital Darlington charity, you can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or ringing 467617 and asking for acting project officer Bridget Chapman.