AN ISLE of Wight charity faces closure after 44 years, unless it can find a replacement volunteer secretary.
The Isle of Wight Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus supports nearly 30 Islanders with disabilities as a result of the conditions, but will not be able to continue if they can't replace Derek Sprake, who after becoming unwell is stepping down after 44 years to focus on his recovery.
Chairman of the charity Sylvia Griffiths said: "I think personally, if we can't find a secretary, we will have to close.
"We provide lightweight wheelchairs and maintain them, we pay for hospital visits as many of them have to travel to the mainland, we give grants and help independent living, and I don't think they would get that help anywhere else if we have to close down."
The charity, which has 12 volunteers, also has a fully furnished holiday chalet with disabled access in Freshwater, which will have to be sold if the charity is forced to fold.
Mrs Griffiths said: "The cottage is in a beautiful spot, and benefits other disabled families too. We only charge a very small cost and our own members can use it for free, but that would have to be put on the market."
Spina bifida is a fault in the development of the spinal cord and surrounding bones and can leave sufferers with physical disabilities, and hydrocephalus, which often occurs at the same time, is excessive water on the brain which can lead to brain damage.
For more information and to contact the charity, call Sylvia on 863658.