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Rallying round to save Ace Centre
An Oxford charity which is set to close in two months is hoping renewed support could save its services.
The Ace Centre has provided communication help for vulnerable children and adults for more than 30 years and earlier this month the Oxford Mail reported the centre in Windmill Road, Headington, would have to close because of a lack of cash.
But after being inundated with support and pledges of donations, that might not be the case.
On Wednesday, Oxford East MP Andrew Smith asked the Prime Minister to help keep the Ace Centre open.
During Prime Minister’s Questions Mr Smith asked David Cameron, also Witney MP, if he would commit the Government to finding the £150,000 needed to keep the centre open.
Mr Cameron agreed the centre was important and said he would work with Mr Smith to try to save the centre.
Mr Smith added: “The centre really does need financial help urgently if closure is to be averted.
“It is not a big sum for the Government to find, especially when set against the value of the centre to children and young people for whom there is no alternative service, not just in Oxfordshire but across the whole of southern England.”
A petition has also been started on the Government’s website, urging action to keep the centre open. So far more than 700 people have signed.
Centre manager Natasha Pearson said: “We are overwelmed with the amount of support we have received.
“The staff here are very passionate about what they do and that definitely comes through in the quality of the service they offer.”
Trustees chairman Bill Nimmo said: “As things stand we are still closing.
“But there is a possibility, if the Government can engage with this, that there might be enough for us to keep going in some way.
“I will be optimistic when we get into a room with someone from the Government and get a feeling that we might come up with something.”
To sign the petition to keep the Ace centre open visit epetitions.direct.
gov.uk/petitions/32670 before July 11.