A donation of £50,000, from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous, has saved a local charity from being closed down.

Wiltshire Mind, the local independent mental health charity, had been set to close in mid-November because of a lack of funding but the unexpected donation will mean that the charity is able to continue to support people with mental health problems across the north and west of the county.

Geoff Brown, chair of trustees of Wiltshire Mind, said: "We are absolutely delighted with this out-of-the-blue donation, which will enable us to continue a service that is very much needed, and we want to take the opportunity to thank our donor publicly for their extraordinarily generous gift.

"Now that we know we can continue to operate beyond November, it is vital that we use this to kick-start fundraising and seek further donations to help the one in four people across Wiltshire who are living with a mental health problem. We want to start work again with Friends of Wiltshire Mind, our fundraising arm, and our supporters to raise regular funds and we will, of course, continue to apply for grants wherever possible.

“We also urgently need enthusiastic people who will help us to keep this vital service going."

The £50,000 will be used to provide a streamlined service in the short term while further funding is sought. Groups will continue to run in Malmesbury, Chippenham, Devizes and Trowbridge and people with mental health problems are invited to attend their nearest group. Groups in Corsham, Melksham, Wootton Bassett and Westbury will be suspended, as will the counselling service.

Carolyn Long, general manager of Wiltshire Mind, said: "We need to make sure that we use this donation wisely to help as many people as possible. For this reason we will be running a streamlined service until we get fully back on our feet, which we hope will be very soon. We are really grateful to all those who have supported us in the past and continue to do so."

The charity is also looking to strengthen its trustee board with people with legal experience and with clinical experience of mental health. Anyone interested in joining the management board should contact Carolyn on (01225) 706532 or email info@wiltshiremind.co.uk