Fears Over Play Centre Future

A children's charity in Bournemouth say they fear for the future of their play centre because of possible funding cuts.

More than 400 children use the Fernheath Play Association in West Howe which costs £120,000 a year to run, most of which goes on staff costs.

The centre's bosses claim Bournemouth Council funding is being cut next year by £35,000 and say they find it difficult to get grants to pay for wages.

Chairperson Paddy Williamson says the centre is a safe haven for many youngsters: "Some of the home backgrounds if mum or dad are battling with a drink problem like some parents are, then those kids really need somewhere to go where they feel safe and secure.

"We do ask parents for any contributions they can make, but the sort of money they can afford wouldn't cover our costs anyway. And if we did charge them, then all the children from the poorest families wouldn't be able to come and they are the ones who need it the most."

Bournemouth council have told Heart nothing has been decided about funding for next year yet.

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