MYSTERY surrounds the future of a Hounslow mental health charity following its temporary closure.
The Chronicle understands the Star Centre, in Bell Road, Hounslow, has been shut on several days in recent weeks but nobody has been able to give a reason for the closures.
When the paper visited yesterday, the shutters were closed and there were no signs of activity.
However, the charity's director Aisling Howley told the Chronicle today it was 'back up and running', although she refused to give any explanation for the closure.
She said the centre, normally open five days a week, was due to open every weekday next week apart from Thursday.
A council spokesman said: "The council is not making any savings to its support to the mental health voluntary sector provision in the borough. It is fully committed to ensuring vulnerable people in Hounslow get access to the care they need.
"The charity that runs The Star Centre has been experiencing difficulties – we have responded by offering support to the charity and service users and are currently investigating ways to ensure that vulnerable people in the borough will continue to receive first class care."
A spokeswoman for NHS Hounslow said it had no plans to change the level of support it gives the centre.
The Star Centre was set up nearly 30 years ago to provide advice and assistance to people with mental health problems across the borough.
Several users had contacted the Chronicle in recent days with concerns about what was happening to the charity.
According to the Charity Commission website, its accounts were 44 days overdue on Wednesday this week.
Its income in 2008/9, the last year for which accounts are available, was just under £200,000, more than £150,000 of which came from the council.
The Star Centre offers users help with everything from training to finding work. It also provides complementary therapies and helps people improve their social skills.
According to its annual report for 2009, 250 people access the charity's services on a regular basis.