VOLUNTEERS who are shoring up a York community centre have made a desperate plea for more supporters to help it stay open.

Foxwood Community Centre is home to exercise classes, mum and baby groups, slimming clubs, Irish dancing, hula hooping, over 50s clubs, and even a choir, but it faces ruin if more people do not give their time to help it carry on.

The centre has lost its council funding, and the full-time caretaker that cash provided, meaning an increasingly stretched team of volunteers have had to take on the time-consuming and demanding work of running the facility.

On Wednesday, July 30 the committee held a drop-in event to appeal for more volunteers, and is holding another on Thursday from 7-8pm at the centre on Cranfield Place. There will also be an AGM on Wednesday, September 3, when they hope to elect a new committee of people who want to see the community hub saved for the people of Foxwood.

The current committee treasurer is Jean Forrester, one of a small but committed group of volunteers whose numbers have taken a blow amid the growing pressure of running the centre without the help of paid staff.

Both the chairman and former treasurer had to step down at the last AGM, as pressures of work meant they could not devote enough time to the growing demands of the centre, leaving just four people trying to keep the building going.

Mrs Forrester said: "If we don't find more volunteers, the centre will have to close."

The committee desperately needs a new bookings secretary, Mrs Forrester said, as well as help to raise money to cover the building's running costs.

"We need more income, but we can't put the rent up too much. We need someone to help us apply for grants."

Mrs Forrester has been involved in the centre for almost 30 years, and was part of the group that fought for the current centre to be built, replacing a former workmen's wooden the community used on the same site.

She added: "We are hoping that the people of Foxwood and Woodthorpe will come along to see what they can do to help."