A YOUTH centre in Hoddlesden fears it could be forced to close forever if more volunteers don't come forward to help run it.

Hoddlesden Youth Centre, which opens on Thursday evenings at the Carus Centre in Sydney Street, is completely self-funded and closed down last year for a few months when it lost all its volunteers completely.

The centre currently only has four volunteers, the bare minimum required by law to supervise the group of 20 or more young members.

Organisers have launched an appeal urging volunteers to come forward.

Luke Lord, secretary and chairman, said: "The youth centre is a safe, dry place where children aged 11 to 16-years-old can come and entertain themselves as there isn't an awful lot for them to do in the village.

"We've got table tennis, snooker, crafts and all sorts going on and we have sometimes 20 plus children coming through the door, but we only have four volunteers at the moment who all have to be there every week.

"If we had eight for example we could switch the staff and do alternate weeks, there is no upper limit as to how many volunteers we can take on, we just need as much help as possible.

"Plus we only charge £1 per child and with no other funding coming in if some of our equipment needs replacing we struggle to do that so any fundraising help would also be great.

"Most stuff for kids to do is in Blackburn and so many parents in Darwen are not willing to take them there or don't have the time so it's very important to have places like the centre where they can go."

Darwen MP Jake Berry said that the centre was something very important to the village and would love to work with volunteers to ensure it stays around.

He said: "This is a vital resource for the village and I’m happy to work with volunteers and the authorities to ensure it remains open."

If you would like to find out more about the centre or offer your help as a volunteer email Mr Lord at luke.lord@hotmail.co.uk.