Appeal to save vital community centre

A COMMUNITY centre in Pill is appealing to businesses to help it raise £34,000 to stay open.

A COMMUNITY centre in Pill is appealing to businesses to help it raise £34,000 to stay open.

Pill Resource Centre could close if it does not find the extra cash it needs to run the vital services it provides.

People can visit the centre in Baltic Place for advice on housing, benefits, lone parenting and legal matters.

Representatives from the Citizens Advice Bureau, North Somerset Housing and Avon and Somerset Constabulary hold weekly surgeries for villagers, and staff also run youth drop-in sessions, holiday activities, community events and computer courses.

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But all this could fold if the centre does not get extra financial support.

The centre's project development manager, Russ Summers, said: "We provide vital services people would have to travel out of the village to access otherwise.

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"It makes services accessible to people who haven't got transport and we deal with more than 5,500 enquiries a year."

The resource centre was set up eight years ago to provide information and advice to the community and has proved a lifeline to many residents.

It costs around £60,000 each year to run it and bosses are given grants from Easton-in-Gordano Parish Council and North Somerset Housing, but every year they need to find around £34,000 to cover the total cost.

Over the past two years, the Lottery has provided the centre with a grant, but Mr Summers is not hopeful the organisation will support the cause for a third year.

He said: "We've got funding bids going in to lots of different foundations for grants.

"We've applied to one, which would provide us with running costs for the next three years, but it can take up to six months for an organisation to make a decision."

The resource centre had planned to hold an open day and invited neighbouring businesses to try to drum up extra sponsorship, but the event had to be cancelled due to a lack of support.

Any businesses or individuals interested in saving the resource can call the centre on 01275 375670.

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