CUTTESLOWE Community Centre has been pulled back from the brink of financial ruin after trustees launched a public appeal to save it.

In June it was warned the building was losing £2,000 every month and would be forced to close by November.

But just over a month after fundraising efforts were launched, at least £16,000 has been put forward.

It has come from £10,000 in donations and £6,000 in further cash pledges.

Centre trustee Ann Johnson said: “The appeal has been very successful.

“But our efforts to keep the centre afloat will still be ongoing. It is pledges for continual support which are the most helpful and give us real stability.”

The community centre has been struggling since last year because it was not being used enough and not getting any grants to make ends meet.

Trustees were forced to axe one full-time role and start charging for some activities.

The centre – which hosts events like dance classes, social clubs and a community cafe – needs a makeover to attract more for activities, trustees said.

Among those helping out are 11-year-old schoolfriends Owen Short and Harry Chant, of Cutteslowe, who are set to hold a fundraising run today.

They will set off from 4pm around Cutteslowe Park with at least six friends, including Harry’s 10-year-old brother, Bradley.

Owen, one of six siblings, said he and Harry, who met at Cutteslowe Primary School, had seen a poster advertising the community centre’s appeal He said: “We were discussing how we could get money for it and decided that we would do a sponsored run.’’ Owen’s mum, Neat Short, 41, said: “What the boys have done is quite inspirational. The community centre is important to people here.”

Community centre manager Allie Noel said: “We are trying to encourage and support them. It’s nice that the kids saw there was a problem and came up with an idea to help.”

Oxford City Council representative for Summertown Jean Fooks backed calls for more donations and said Cutteslowe “needs these facilities”.

For information call 01865 311172.

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