A JOHNSTONE community centre which was previously brought back from the brink has been awarded yet another lifeline from Renfrewshire Council in the fight to keep its doors open.

Johnstone Castle Learning Centre have struggled to secure funding in recent years, meaning they have had to apply for grants in order to keep the centre open.

And thanks to the Johnstone and the Villages local area committee’s generous £15,762 grant, the centre can now stay in business for another year. 

Various clubs including youth groups for those aged between eight and 25, came under threat after it was revealed that the premises would no longer be able to host them if the centre’s board couldn’t secure the funds to pay for staff wages and rent.

Director of the centre, Jean Gallagher, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the centre has received all of the money that we had applied for. 

“I know that it is a limited pot and there are a lot of other causes who would have been looking for a grant, so we were only expecting a percentage. 

“It is super that the council saw fit to award us the full amount.”

Based on Pine Street, the centre hosts a youth club three nights a week which has seen an influx of members in recent years, with numbers hitting 50 children on certain nights.

During the day, there are services laid on for the community but the members of staff who run them are all volunteers. 

However, the youth evenings require a bigger commitment and therefore it is necessary for the staff to be paid for their services. 

Jean continued: “We have three members of staff who help run the youth evenings and the nights are very busy and very noisy but a lot of fun. 

“I volunteer on top of my role as director and I have often been asked why I want to give up my evenings to entertain a bunch of youths. 

“My response is to say that if the centre can stop one child from going down the wrong path, then my work here is done.

“There aren’t many community hubs like ours any more and we are lucky because other areas have nothing and no way to stop children from engaging in antisocial behaviour.”

Jean and the other workers at the centre are hoping to secure further funding from bodies such as Children in Need in the future to keep the community hub going for years to come.