Portishead Youth Centre hoping to raise £10k to pay for repairs

Mark Stallard handed the cheque to Alan Rowe at Portishead Youth Centre.

Mark Stallard handed the cheque to Alan Rowe at Portishead Youth Centre. - Credit: Archant

Portishead Youth Centre is aiming to raise £10,000 to mark its 50th anniversary year and plans to use the money to make improvements to its popular home.

The centre, in Harbour Road, was redeveloped five years ago, but needs money to pay for running repairs.

And to kickstart its appeal, Portishead businessman Mark Stallard has donated £1,500.

The owner of Safety Horizon (South West), said: “I am a great believer in giving back to the community so my business has always made an annual donation to a good cause in the community.

“However as we are celebrating 10 years I wanted to make it a substantial donation this year.

“I am aware the youth centre not only provides a terrific facility for the youth of Portishead, but something for the whole community, from its café to the youth club, pre-school soft play to senior citizens lunches.”

The donation could not come at a better time according to its manager Alan Rowe, who said: “The centre had a £1million redevelopment five years ago but as a well-used, seven days a week facility, we are reaching the point where things need renewing; however obtaining the funds to do this is proving challenging.

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“Donations like this will make a huge difference to the centre and we can’t thank Mark enough.”

The centre originally opened in 1966, but since North Somerset Council withdrew funding for general youth work in 2012, it has had to rely on profits from its day-time use, grant aid and fundraising to survive.

It currently runs at a small loss and has launched two major fundraising initiatives. The first is the 50 Year Appeal, which aims to raise £5,000 by the end of the year and the second is the launch of a new friends group, which also aims to raise £5,000.

In addition to making his donation to the 50 Year Appeal, Mark is keen to forge strong links with Portishead Football Club, of which he has been elected chairman.

He added: “I see a positive connection between the facilities of the youth centre and the football club and hope the two can work together to benefit the young people living in Portishead.

“We are all very lucky to have such facilities and I feel very strongly that we should make the most of them.”