A CAMPAIGN has been launched to save a community centre which faces the axe unless £10,000 is raised by the end of October.

The Newton Family and Community Centre, on Park Road South, has been a feature of the area since its opening in 1987.

However, unless the money can be raised over the next month the facility will be shut down.

Since news of the centre's situation surfaced on social media last week, the people of Newton have responded to a rallying call and already a host of activities have been organised to help raise desperately needed funds to keep the centre open.

The centre, based at the former Wargrave Infants School, sees thousands of people through its doors each year, and hosts community courses and councillors' surgeries.

Centre manager Lorraine Nicholls has been overwhelmed by the response which saw 175 people gather at the weekend to show their support for the fundraising efforts and more than £3,000 raised.

"Since we broke it to the staff they have been amazing and jumped on board and offered to work for nothing," she said.

"It has really picked up momentum and I can't believe how much support we've had. It's a huge part of the local community in Newton and has been for years.

"We rely heavily on grants and funding and we have to generate our own income and basic revenue streams.

"We rely on room hire and the Big Lottery have been funding some of our staff salaries for the last five years but we are in the last year of that.

"We need to get over these hurdles otherwise we'll close."

Newton councillor, Seve Gomez-Aspron said: "This centre is at the heart of the community, in an area that depends on them.

"I and my fellow councillors are already actively involved with centre staff to turn this around.

"As a community, we need to rally round and support them."

Fiona Ruddy, centre trustee and volunteer, added: "It is heartbreaking that after all of our hard work, we find ourselves in this position.

"It is frustrating for us and we only hope the generosity of the community, which without we can't exist, can pull us through."

Conor McGinn, MP for St Helens North, added: "Funding to charities has reduced by 27 per cent since 2010, and they show no sign of slowing down. Now, we are starting to see the real effects. I shall be raising this with the Minister at Whitehall."

People can donate to the centre by texting 'NFCC27' followed by the amount to 70070.