DEVASTATED young people have spoken of their "anger and confusion" after losing their jobs at Superbowl UK amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Workers have been left reeling after the bowling alley venue, which opened in March last year at the retail and leisure park off Liverpool Road, St Helens, told them they were being let go last week.

Many have turned to social media to voice their frustrations.

Bowling alleys can still not open under coronavirus restrictions and Superbowl UK said the ongoing impact means it has had to look at restructuring the business.

It adds this has led to some redundancies and the loss of jobs for people who were on temporary contracts.

The Star spoke to three former members of staff let go by the company who said the loss of their jobs via an email has left them "confused" and "angry".

Former employee Thomas Hart, 18, from St Helens said: "We were all told via the social media page for our team at the beginning of lockdown that we did not need to worry about our jobs.

St Helens Star:

The memo issued on social media assuring workers of their job security at the beginning of lockdown

"They actually said 'We can assure you that you will all have jobs at the end of this so please stay positive and we will update you accordingly'.

"So I didn't worry, then on Wednesday [July 1] I got an email to say they were terminating my contract that day.

"I was just in shock, then other people got in touch to say it happened to them too.

"It has left me in difficulty because I pay for some things on finance and I have to pay rent to my parents and stuff. It's not fair to do this to people with no notice at all."

Another ex-employee Olivia Evans, also 18 and from Huyton, added: "I am lost for words and heartbroken at the lack of respect and notice they have given us.

"I have a brother with special needs, I have a car and insurance to pay for. I have finance on quite a few things and have no current way to pay for anything – plus I was in the process of looking for a therapist but now I have to put that last as I can’t afford it.

St Helens Star:

The email issued to Thomas - which is similar to others received - terminating his employment

One former employee who has been fortunate to have already found another job is Ash Holden, 20, from Eccleston, who said: "I think that when they announced bowling alleys wouldn't open on July 4 this was set into motion then.

"The fact they have to make difficult decisions isn't what has shocked me, it's the fact that there is a sudden termination of contract with no warning and then how they have treated staff online.

"I was unemployed for two years before I worked at Superbowl for various reasons and I was so worried because I now have things to pay for and I didn't think I could manage.

"Thankfully I've found a job elsewhere, I'm one of the lucky ones, but the way Superbowl have treated us is not fair.

"First making promises they could not keep then by dismissing us with no warning."

St Helens Star:

Ash while working at Superbowl

In a statement issued yesterday, a spokesman from Superbowl UK, said: "Following the latest directive from the Government on June 23 2020, our business was to remain closed to the public until further notice.

"The impact this ongoing pandemic has had on the business, meant that we have had to make some difficult decisions regarding the future of the business.

"We have had to look at re-structuring the business and regrettably, we have had to sacrifice some job losses.

"We appreciate this decision will have come as a shock, we have had to take urgent action following the announcement delaying our ability to reopen to the public, to safeguard the future of the business and as many jobs as possible.

"We informed all staff at the beginning of lockdown that we hoped it would be a temporary measure but if the situation escalates, it may lead to staff being laid off. The staff that have been terminated were on temporary contracts which had ended.

"We are not in the position to offer permanent employment and had no choice but to end that employment."

St Helens Star:

In their statement Superbowl UK, confirmed there had been redundancies in St Helens but said all staff members have not been laid off and that it does intend to reopen in the future.

The statement added: "We have also made five staff redundant and in doing so we have secured the future of 19 remaining workers and the assurance that the site will be able to reopen in the future.

"We would like to clarify that we haven’t laid off all members of staff of Superbowl UK St Helens.

"We have also made it clear to all staff that have left the business that if trade returns to normal, they will be the first people to contact regarding coming back to work."

READ: Job losses at Superbowl UK St Helens due to effects of the coronavirus pandemic

Meanwhile, Cllr Richard McCauley, cabinet member for regeneration and housing at St Helens Borough Council, said the local authority would look at ways to support people who have lost their jobs.

He said: “The council has been made aware of this situation and – through the Councils Ways to Work Programme – we will work with partners to offer advice and support to the affected staff, to whom it must be a very worrying time.

“We have a model in place that has proved successful in signposting people to the right training opportunities to guide people back into employment – and would encourage anyone in need of support to register for our Ways to Work programme by emailing or calling 01744 676131."