A thriving youth club is celebrating its fifth birthday after giving hundreds of youngsters a better start in life.
The Boathouse Youth, in South Shore, was at risk of closing in 2011, but has since received £1m in funding, moved in to its own building and has nine members of staff running activities and holidays for more than 400 children.
Laurance Hancock, general manager of the club, said: “I always had a vision but I didn’t think we would get so much financial support from different groups.
“I didn’t think we would have our own premises because back in the early days we thought we weren’t going to make it, then we got our first big grant and secured my salary.”
A lot of the members have grown up in the club and gone on to win awards and achieve success in various activities.
Mr Hancock added: “It’s fantastic to see some of the 16-year-olds, who are thinking about developing a CV, put things on there like a youth achievement or Duke of Edinburgh award that was facilitated by us.”
The club will celebrate with a party at the Sandcastle Waterpark on May 19.