An after-school club on a deprived estate, which keeps youngsters away from crime and gives them a safe place to learn, has issued a desperate plea for support.

The Ivybridge homework club, which meets on Isleworth's Ivybridge estate and is attended by 30 to 40 youngsters, only has enough cash to keep going to May.

As well as funding for its youth worker, the club has appealed for donations of books, pens and other equipment, volunteers to help children with their maths and English, and IT experts to fix its ageing computers.

The free club meets at the Bridgelink Centre, in Summerwood Road, every Tuesday and Thursday from 4.30pm to 6pm, and is run by the Ivybridge Link charity.

It was set up about 18 months ago to give youngsters aged between five and 11, many of whom live in cramped flats on the estate, a place to brush up on their schoolwork. It is also a refuge from the dangers and temptations of crime on the estate, where one supporter said she had heard of children as young as 10 drug-running.

Bridgelink Centre manager Tracy Hiney said: "Most of the families on this estate are living in high rise flats and there's no space for the children to study.

"Some parents are also worried about their children playing out on the estate but they're happy for them to come here, where they know they're safe.

"But we're very hand to mouth and without extra funding we will have to close in May, which would be a tragedy."

Brentford & Isleworth MP Mary Macleod has got behind the cause and is trying to drum up support from local businesses.

"The homework club provides a great level of support teaching basic maths and English to children who are often learning English as a second language," she said.

"It's vital it remains open for the children of Ivybridge to give them a real chance in life of fulfilling their potential. By getting involved in this project a local business could make a real difference to the most disadvantaged in our local area."

Dawn Locke, whose eight-year-old son Kamal has been attending the club for about six months, said he loved going there and his maths had come on in leaps and bounds.

"He needed a little help with his English and literacy but after-school tuition can be very expensive so this club is a really good thing," she said.

"I was quite worried about his maths but it's improved so much. Now when he gets homework I know I can leave him to do it himself."

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The club has previously received the bulk of its funding from Hounslow Council and the London Community Foundation.

* To make a donation or offer to volunteer at the homework club, call Debbie Squires on 0783 3338 432 or email ivybridgeyouth@gmail.com