STAFF at a special education centre threatened with closure are appealing for funds to keep it running.

The educational aspect of Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Centre, run by UK Youth, could close over funding issues.

But staff, who face losing their jobs if the centre shuts, are pleading with charity bosses to give them a reprieve and have pledged to try to turn the situation around.

The activity centre runs a variety of services and outdoor pursuits including archery and ropes, mountain biking and more, along with camping trips for schools and disabled groups.

It also provides education for youngsters who are unable to stay in mainstream education, sometimes for behavioural reasons, and need specialist education.

It is this essential aspect of the facility which is currently at risk of closure.

Headteacher Jake George for UK Youth’s Youth Achievement Foun-dation at Avon Tyrrell said the eight staff under threat were told about the potential closure three weeks ago.

“We provide vocational courses and functional skills for youngsters who need some help.

“They get taught life skills, which boosts their motivation and self-confidence and self-worth.

“We combine the vocational work with work experience on the site.

“In the last year, we have turned things around and the local authorities have given us very positive feedback.

“I am concerned about what will happen to these youngsters if we close.

“I understand why the charity is proceeding with this; it’s about figures.

“But I would appeal to them to give us some more time.

“At the moment we are operating at a very high level.”

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