Kington Youth Centre has reduced its opening hours in what has been described as “‘a real loss to the young people” of the town.

The centre, part of the Kington Youth Club based on the Lady Hawkins’ School site, is no longer being run by Herefordshire Council following funding cuts, and is only hanging on thanks to volunteers from Herefordshire Voluntary Organisations Support Service (HVOSS).

The centre was well used by students from the school who spent time during lunchtime and after school there, where they could go to socialise, play games and receive advice on issues such as drugs, contraception and alcohol from youth workers Steve Clark and Phil Hughes, but this has now been limited to one evening a week.

Dhanishta Mills, a student at Lady Hawkins’ School, has started a petition to keep the centre open.

She said: “Everyone who spent time in the centre and even the ones that haven’t are all very outraged by such a stupid idea to close it down. We all want our youth centre back.”

There is some funding for youth services available to Kington from next April, but this will be split with Weobley and it is uncertain what it will be spent on, so the centre is now relying on volunteers to come forward to keep it going.

Philippa Dixon, the cover supervisor at Lady Hawkins’ School, said: “I think it is a real loss to the young people of Kington.

“These services are very important to the wellbeing of this town’s young people.”