A TOWN centre charity shop, which helps to raise money for children with autism, is set to close.

Buddy’s for Children with Autism took to Facebook last week to announce that it would be shutting its shop and cafe on The Rock.

Bosses say the money being spent on renting the shop is “killing” the charity.

However, as the charity’s five-year lease on the property does not end until August 2020, they have promised to continue running groups and therapy session from there.

The charity’s founder Jane Lord said: “We need to raise £2,500 a month just to keep the shop open.

“Everything Buddy’s does will continue, we just will not be running it as a charity shop.

“We volunteer seven hours a day and sometimes we only make £7, which is not enough to cover the cost of the shop.

“We need to come up with different ways of making the money.”

The charity provides workshops and therapy sessions for young people on the autistic spectrum and holds regular graduation ceremonies to celebrate their progress.

It was first set up by Ms Lord in 2014 and moved into the shop, opposite Bury Parish Church, a year later.

“Clearly the service is needed but the charity shop is not,” explained Ms Lord.

“We will continue to run the groups because we help an awful lot of people.

“We are tied into the base so the rent still has to be paid, but we are not going to waste the hours standing in the shop.”

A closing down sale is currently being held at the shop.

In a bid to raise the money to cover the rent, the charity also hopes to hire out the shop for groups to use as a meeting space.

Once the lease ends, they will then return to providing the service on a mobile basis.

In recent years, the shop has also been a target for vandals.

Last September, heartless yobs smashed the shop’s glass door, leaving broken glass strewn across the pavement.

It was the fifth time in 12 months that the shop was targeted. Last January, thieves ransacked Buddy’s and stole more than £8,000 worth of equipment, donations and the store’s CCTV system.