A CLUB in Gunnislake which was attracting more than 50 young people each week has been closed until further notice due to a loss of key volunteers and committee members.

Support is needed from parents, children and the wider community who are being called to a crisis meeting at 7pm on March 2 in Gunnislake Public Hall in an attempt to save the youth club from folding.

Krys Kitt, who helped to instigate the project and is a committee member, said it was vital parents played a part or there would be no future for the club: 'Everybody recognises that this club is needed but our chairman is moving from the area and two other key members of the committee have resigned because of job and family commitments.

'Without a strong committee and a healthy group of volunteers we cannot provide what the kids want. If this meeting does not achieve the desired results the club will sadly have to fold, at least in the short term.'

The club was set up because of a lack of youth facilities in Gunnislake and a rise in petty crime and vandalism. Police, youth workers and the parish council all supported the need for a youth club and there was much enthusiasm from the youngsters.

Krys said that there were more than 90 children on the books but recently the number of regular attenders had dropped.

'We have had a dramatic decrease in attendance by older teenagers and girls but that could be because we cannot offer more than one night a week.

'We have a fairly loyal group of about 20 boys aged between 12 and 14 and I think the girls feel outnumbered. If we could offer more nights and a bigger range of activities it would help, but for that we need more volunteers.'

She added that a youth worker or co-ordinator would help the club tremendously and although the Cornwall Youth Service had been hugely supportive of the committee's efforts it had not been able to divert any funding its way, apart from free training.

There are plans to set up a table tennis club and some funding had been granted for some tables. It was also suggested adults could use the tables at other times to bring in some money for the youth club.

The long-term aim of the club is to get its own building with the outside space it desperately needs. A redundant pre-fabricated building, formerly owned by the Catholic Church at Dimson, has been offered to the club and Calstock Parish Council is investigating a suitable site for it.

'We are confident that with the right premises in the right location and with a strong team, there is no reason why all the kids in Gunnislake should not enjoy a wide range of activities which at present we are unable to provide,' added Krys.