A CAMPAIGN to retain "essential" youth services in Leominster has been launched.

The Hereford Times reported earlier this month that the town's youth club was set to close its doors for good at the end of March if new funds were not found.

Leominster was thrown a lifeline when Herefordshire Council cut funding to youth services last year, and temporary funding was provided to help the voluntary sector establish services in the town

But - with money now running out - local people are not prepared to see the service lost without a fight, and a number of fundraising activities are already in the pipeline.

One of those is an awards ceremony in honour of local heroes which is to be held in August at Grange Court.

Danielle Barrington, one of those leading the campaign, said: “When you visit this place you realise it’s a lifeline, it’s not just a youth centre it’s a whole support network.”

Youth services also play a key role in reducing anti-social behaviour, according to Community Support Officer Gareth Maddox, of the Leominster town north local policing team.

He added it is an "essential service that needs to continue".

Leominster’s junior youth club has already been lost and those involved are trying hard to hold on to the remaining service.

Will Edwards, co-ordinator of Mobile Youth Led Opportunities (MYLO) which has been helping to run the youth club, said current cutbacks in the public sector mean there is a greater need for communities to support young people.

"The open access youth work that has been provided across the county and especially in Leominster has been vital in providing a safe place for young people to come together in a fun social environment and raise their aspirations and self belief,” he said.

“MYLO is desperately trying to support Leominster to hold onto its youth club and appeals to any potential volunteers, businesses and anyone to help keep this worthwhile service.”

Other fundraising activities planned include a sponsored skydive, charity auction and music night.

Votes for local heroes can be made online on Facebook on the Leominster's Local Heroes Awards Ceremony page.

To donate or get involved, email Danielle Barrington on daniellebarrington@hotmail.com