KIDDERMINSTER and District Youth Trust (KDYT) has made the "heartbreaking" decision to make four staff members redundant following a year of financial difficulties.

The charity, which supports young people in the Wyre Forest, has suffered losses in revenue due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its management has had to make "difficult decisions."

Operations manager Mike Oliver-Brooke explained that the contracts of four short-term members of staff will end in order to help the charity's long-term survival.

He told The Shuttle: "We did not make those decisions lightly - it's heartbreaking making those decisions.

"They have been made because we have to move forward as best we can as a charity. Covid has hit us hard - but I believe our approach is going to help our survival.

"We have got a robust plan for the future. We have managed to still deliver youth services through the pandemic and provide one to one support.

"We have done some really positive work over the year. We are not at risk of closure. We are still here for young people."

The charity suffered a loss of income due to the closure of their Youth House on Bromsgrove Street in March last year due to the pandemic.

KDYT has been supported by the National Youth Agency, who helped them develop a new funding strategy and business plan.

"The building always paid for itself and more. That income has been directly affected by the pandemic", Mr Oliver-Brooke said.

"In that time we still applied for lots of funding but not enough to fill the gap.

"We are in a really difficult situation. We have had reduced finances as a result of the pandemic - we have had to dig into our reserves.

"However, we have got an updated business plan and financial strategy. We believe we can keep this charity running."

Going forward, managers are hopeful that they will eventually be able to have staff back and working on future projects.

They have stressed that their focus is ensuring they continue to deliver youth services in Kidderminster.

Mr Oliver-Brooke added: "Our priority is to support young people and in order to do that we need to move forward.

"We need to be keeping this charity going in the future for young people. We believe our charity makes a positive difference to their lives."