We’re back from the brink! That was the triumphant message from Preston’s Jalgos Club today after the community rallied round to answer its desperate SOS.
An open day at the weekend proved such a hit that the city’s only remaining Afro-Caribbean club looks to have been rescued from almost certain closure.
“It was brilliant how so many people responded to our appeal,” said committee member Gemma Swain.
“The place was packed all day and all night. We’ve had so many offers of help that we’re now feeling optimistic again about the future.”
The Jalgos Sports and Social Club in Rose Street looked doomed last week when volunteers turned to the Post to make a last rallying call for support.
“We couldn’t believe the reaction of the whole community - people were absolutely amazing,” added Gemma (inset with daughter Faith).
“We ran an afternoon session for the youngsters and it was packed. Then we laid on a big night for the adults and you couldn’t get a seat it was busy.
“The feedback we received was amazing. But the message we kept getting was they hadn’t realised we were still open.
"Many thought we’d closed down, like the Caribbean Club did in 2009. We’ve remained open all the time - although only just - and it seems it was the best-kept secret in town.
“If you had asked me last week I would have said it wasn’t looking good. But thanks to the Post we got the message out there and people flocked in.
“Now we are planning lots of events and feeling a lot more confident of the future.
"Someone came down from the council and told us there is funding we can apply for because we are a registered charity. So it looks good.”