An Elland firm has been placed into voluntary liquidation after mounting debts made it impossible to continue operating.
Pit Stop 2000 has closed down, 20 years after being founded to help young people who struggled with school and who were at risk of getting involved with crime.
Earlier this year, severe flooding at the Elland headquarters at Bridgefield Mill on Elland Bridge meant staff had to work from four different bases.
Then, following the resignation of the founder and operations manager in February, it was confirmed last month that the not-for-profit business, which achieved charity status in 2008, would cease operating.
But five members of ex-Pit Stop staff have already founded a new company, Compass Bridge, to continue the work.
Peter Irving, the new operations manager, said the closure of Pit Stop left the staff stunned.
“When the meeting was called by the directors we were mortified that they brought the insolvency firm in with them,” he said. “It was a bolt from the blue.”
“We had a group coming in on a 10-day course the following week so we asked the liquidators if we could complete that for them and from there we set up a new company.”
Peter, a former school teacher, said that the staff were working without pay.
“Nothing can be done instantly these days so we’re waiting to get a bank account set up, and once we’ve done that we’ll be able to send out invoices.
“We haven’t been paid for five weeks but that staff have been fantastic.”
Pit Stop 2000 had only just begun to get back on its feet after the floods of last winter ruined equipment and furniture.
“We want people to know we’re still here,” he said. “We teach the kids everything from woodwork, cooking, mechanics and painting.
“We’re going to teach them how to put wallpaper up and we take them to B&Q to show them where to get equipment, things that seem obvious to most of us but which many young people don’t know about. It’s active learning and they really enjoy it.”