ELDERLY campaigners who braved the bitter cold to save their popular South Tyneside centre received the backing of hundreds of supporters.
Pensioners are fighting to retain Queens Road Day Centre in Saxon Way, Jarrow, which could close because of a council budget squeeze.
But the centre, which recently marked its 30th anniversary, is used by dozens of borough pensioners a week, for everything from dance sessions to bingo and from meals to keep-fit.
Members endured the winter cold for three days as they collected a petition in Jarrow shopping centre last week.
Their reward was the backing of hundreds of shoppers, with the petition now reaching almost 6,000 signatures.
There is growing opposition to plans to close the centre and move members to part of Jarrow Community Centre.
Joyce Miller, the centre’s committee secretary, said: “On behalf of all the members and friends who benefit from coming along to Queens Road Day Centre, we would like to thank all the very kind people who signed our petition.
“Not only did hundreds of people sign, all gave us very kind words of support, which again we thank you for.
“Also, a big thank you to all the members, friends and supporters who braved the elements and stood out in the freezing cold.”
The campaign to save the centre has received the backing of Independent Jarrow councillors Linda Hemmer and Steve Harrison.
But the annual upkeep of the Saxon Way complex costs an estimated £78,000, at a time when South Tyneside Council has to find huge budgetary savings.
Coun Jim Perry, a Jarrow ward member, has indicated that centre members could be transferred to the former Millennium Phab Club in Grange Road, which is now part of Jarrow Community Centre.
Management at Jarrow shopping centre were also thanked for allowing pensioners to collect signatures.