A man who has supported Portishead’s youngsters with ‘loyalty and tenacity’ for almost three decades has retired.

Alan Rowe, the manager for Portishead Youth Centre, has stepped down after 28 years of hard work and dedication.

The youth worker has steered the organisation through difficult challenges since joining in 1991 – including funding cuts and a seven-figure refurbishment project.

Alan’s colleagues say he will be ‘greatly missed’ after ‘inspiring and supporting so many young people over the years’.

Alan said it has been a ‘privilege to work with a vast number of very talented and committed people’.

He added: “I feel together we have achieved something remarkable.

“Not only have we managed to maintain a youth service for Portishead after the withdrawal of funding for such, we have developed something unique which is the envy of many other centres around the country.

“Long may it all continue.”

Alan’s achievements will be recognised with a presentation at Portishead Town Council’s meeting, starting at 7.30pm tonight (Wednesday), at the Folk Hall.

Kimberley Jones, Alan’s colleague of 13 years who will take on the mantle following his departure, said: “I know firsthand of the difference he has made to the local community.

“There are so many people who have used this building over the years for different reasons and without Alan’s involvement the youth centre would not be what it is today.

“Alan has inspired and supported so many young people over the years and I am sure I am not alone in having great memories of youth club activities, trips and projects that Alan has played a part in.

“Twenty eight years of commitment to an organisation is a real achievement and he will be greatly missed.”

Ros Cruse, the youth centre’s chairman of trustees, said: “The trustees have been particularly grateful for his loyalty and tenacity since the youth centre was established.

“He has taken on the challenges of establishing a business supporting youth with enthusiasm and without doubt his presence will be greatly missed.

“On behalf of all the trustees I wish him all the very best in his retirement.”