THE community of Fordingbridge has stepped up to ensure the future of Avonway.

A desperate appeal was issued last month for people to come forward to become trustees to continue the running of the community centre.

The acting chair of the Avonway trustees Janet Brown previously warned that “Avonway was approaching a crisis” as the number of trustees was at an “unsustainable” level and if there was no-one willing to take on the posts there would be “no alternative but to wind up the charity and close Avonway”.

But volunteers have answered the plea for help and will stand for election as chairman and treasurer at the May AGM. Nine volunteers have expressed an interest in becoming trustees.

ALSO READ: More trustees needed to secure future for Avonway in Fordingbridge

Janet said: “There are three things required to run a successful community centre; a building which is known, welcoming and fit for purpose, a stable financial position and enough able and hard-working volunteer trustees to provide effective governance.

“Over the past 15 years dedicated trustees have established the first two and I am enormously relieved that, thanks to the good will of the Fordingbridge and district community, we now have the third essential element.

“Avonway is very much back in business and we look forward to serving existing users, to welcoming new users and – we hope – to becoming even more involved in service to our local community.”

A meeting was held between Avonway Trustees and some of the potential trustees with three confirming they were willing to stand for election as chairman, treasurer and secretary . A working party has been set up to consider what direction that future of the community centre should take and ensure a smooth transition when the current chairman and treasurer retire.

Avonway says it would still welcome more support from potential trustees or volunteers. Email Avonway manager, Sara Winteridge at


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