Plea made to Redbridge headteachers to help save Glasbury activities centre

A “begging” letter has been sent to every school in the borough in a lastditch attempt to save an outdoor education centre which a headteacher has described as “the jewel of Redbridge”.

Glasbury House, a listed Welsh mansion, offers youngsters from Redbridge schools the chance to try a range of activities including canoeing, abseiling and climbing.

But the �255,000 which it costs Redbridge Council to run it and subsidise pupil’s trips is set to be stopped in April due to budget cuts.

Cllr Sue Nolan, cabinet member for leisure, has written to all 72 schools asking each to raise �1,000 in each of the next three years in an attempt to secure the centre’s future.

“The begging letters have gone out to schools in the hope that I get a favourable response,” said Cllr Nolan.

“But I don’t know how many can contribute when budgets are so tight.

“It could be a case of increasing some fees paid by parents slightly, or match funding here and there.”

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Dr Paul Doherty, head of Trinity Catholic High School in Mornington Road, Woodford Green, pledged the school’s full support, calling Glasbury the “jewel of Redbridge”.

An online petition has also been set up in a bid to save the centre for young people to use in the future.

At Ilford Jewish Primary School in Carlton Drive, Barkingside, head of key stage two Jonathan Pearlman said the school would find the funding through holding car washing days and other events.

“The school’s governors have also said they will match fund whatever we raise,” he added.

As well as the hope of extra money from schools, Redbridge Council said: “Glasbury House believes it can reduce the subsidy through further efficiencies and by increasing the weekly cost from �230 per person a week to �280.”

Cllr Nolan said: “If schools can commit to this then I will ask the council to fund the shortfall.”