THE future of Cardigan Oxygen Therapy Centre hangs in the balance.

The charitable-run centre at the Pentood Industrial Estate lost £10,000 last year and is on course to lose a similar amount this year.

“We are in dire trouble,” said centre manager Gina Fox, who is the only paid part-time member of staff and has been at the centre for 13 years, with everyone else a volunteer.

“The centre needs around £40,000 a year to keep going and that’s running it on the bare bones. We hoped it would turn round but we are looking to the local community for help now and we need people to realise how serious this is.

”If things carry on as they are, we may have a serious decision to make in six months and that could mean closure.”

The centre was set up 17 years ago by a group of local people who raised around £120,000 to save the need to travel to Swansea for treatment.

It was mainly used to treat people with MS at first but is suitable for a host of chronic illnesses such as Motor Neurone Disease, cancer, fibromyalgia, autism, as well as fractures and tissue damage.

Medical oxygen is breathed in under pressure and dissolves into the blood stream and tissues to promote healing.

The centre – one of only three in Wales - is run entirely on charitable donations, fund-raising efforts and donations from people who use the service.

A recent rent rise has not helped the situation but it is busier than ever – and, ironically, that is one of the problems.

“The more people we treat, the more money we lose as we subsidise everyone and therefore the busier we are, the more money we have to raise,” said Gina.

“We ask people for a donation but each treatment costs around £60 and the basis of the centre is that we are here for the people that really need it.

“It is such an important resource to the local community and not only for the treatment it can provide.

“There is also a social aspect as people feel they can come here and talk openly about their illness. It gets them pout of the house and provides social as well as medical benefits.”

The centre will be hosting a Christmas Fair on November 17 and any help with that would be appreciated.

For further information about the centre, contact Gina on 01239 613210.