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Christian adventure resort Rock UK clinging onto faith that it will survive UK lockdown

by Tola Mbakwe

Christian outdoor adventure charity Rock UK is one of thousands of businesses who are struggling during this pandemic. 

The adventure resort which hosts weekends away for youth groups is clinging onto faith to get through this period of uncertainty after having to shut its doors. 

Rachel Allen, centre director of Rock UK Summit Centre, told Premier Christian News the past few weeks have been tough.

"The outbreak has been catastrophic for Rock UK. We've got four outdoor residential centres and we were just about to hit our busy season with hundreds of schools and churches and youth clubs come in to stay with us over the summer.

"And of course schools are shut and churches aren't able to meet and no one's going away so we've had to shut our centres. We've had to furlough our staff. Just as we were getting ready for summer, we've had to shut everything down."

One of the centres went through a £1.5 million renovation and reopened 18 months ago. This year was supposed to be the first year it was going to cover its costs.

"To suddenly have to send staff home and to shut the center… I just I cried," she said. 

"It was heartbreaking. The centre also has a cafe and a climbing wall and we're a real hub for the local community. Knowing that we can't be there in in a time where people are struggling for our community is really tough. People walk up to the centre to see if we're open and we're not and it just feels like we can't be there for them."

However Allen said she has faith and hope that God will see the organisation through this difficult time.

"I think my faith is the only thing that's kept me going. This is hopeless financially for us. We lose money in the winter and we make money in the summer. And so we've just come out of a loss making period and into the period which covers us through the year and we're not having the money.

"It's only by God's grace that we are still going to be here and we're still going to be able to be a mission into the communities that we serve. And I've been praying with a colleague that every day God will give us a ray of hope for the future. And our God is so amazingly gracious because every day he's given us more than just a ray of hope. He's given us a promise that he will look after us and he will enable us to be there for the future."

Rock UK has reduced its staff from 140 to nine. Allen said the government support has been a lifeline, but it still struggles to cover costs for those who are still working at the moment.

The charity has turned to the community for support and started a GoFund Me campaign.

Listen to the interview here:

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