FEARS have been raised that Harwich's The Ark Family Resource Centre could close due to a lack of funding.

The Ark Family Resource Centre, which is based on Main Road, celebrated its 70th anniversary this year.

The centre began during the great flood in Harwich, acting as a crisis hub for those affected.

In its long existence, the centre has evolved into a valuable resource and provider of many services in the area.

However, The Ark is now facing financial difficulty and needs to raise £20,000 to £25,000 each month in order to keep running.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Interior - The Ark Centre's resourcesInterior - The Ark Centre's resources (Image: N/A)

Claire Bridges, manager of The Ark Family Resource Centre, said: “We have a nursery for two to five-year-olds, an outreach team who support families with everything from parenting, budgeting through to domestic abuse support and social care intervention.

“We have a counselling team who uniquely provide service to children as young as six. We have a baby group and a youth group and we also have provided respite care for children with additional needs.

“Every single one of these services is vital to our town and families. It would be devastating to lose any of them.”

She added: “We are really struggling for the last part of this year and going forward.

“Please give what you can to help us keep going for another 70 years and more.”

Councillor Ivan Henderson said: "It is unthinkable - The Ark Centre provides such an essential service to families, children and women needing that service.

"We cannot afford to see the Ark Centre close down and not be available for people in Harwich."

Mr Henderson, who served as Harwich mayor for two years, established the Harwich Mayflower Legacy Fund to benefit charities in the area.

The Ark Family Resource Centre was among the charities benefiting from the fund alongside Home-Start Harwich and Teen Talk Harwich.

In January, 40 hardy swimmers braved the chilly North Sea temperatures in aid of The Ark Centre.

Taking on the challenge on New Year’s Day, some of the swimmers wore Santa hats.

They managed to raise more than £600 in total, the majority coming from online donations.