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Grant to boost youth club

Celebrating at the Boathouse Youth at St Peters Church in Blackpool

Celebrating at the Boathouse Youth at St Peters Church in Blackpool

A popular Blackpool youth club has received a major grant to employ more staff.

This time last year, the Boathouse Youth, a club in South Shore, had one paid member of staff.

But a £90,000 boost over three years from the Tudor Trust – a grant organisation – will help the club employ a sixth employee who will join the club in February 2014.

The full time outreach manager will help the group connect the youth centre with other parts of the community and work with two other members of staff on various projects.

Laurance Hancock, general manager of the club, said: “I’m delighted we’ve received this funding. It’s a fantastic boost for the organisation.

“I can’t believe that six months ago we had one paid member of staff and by the middle of February we’ll have six.

“The project will include creating strong links between us and local schools, working closely with other members of our community - for example the elderly - and developing a Bloomfield Youth Council.

“This is about linking young people with residents so they understand the positivity that surrounds youngsters.

“One of the projects will be to create community champions which link up with older members of the community and it might see them go round their house with a volunteer to clean or help them with their shopping.”

Since the club’s formation in 2010 it has received hundreds of thousands of pounds in donations and recently received £70,000 from five different groups to help the club expand.

The Queendeans Association, based at the Queens Hotel, on South Promenade, is a trustee of the group and recently handed over £7,500 to help the group take 90 youngsters on three canal boating trips next year.

In May the group moved from its original home, at St Peter’s Church, on Lytham Road, to a brand new, purpose-built home at the former South Shore library, on the same street.

A spokesman for the Tudor Trust said: “Our trustees thought the number and breadth of activities that have been established were very impressive and were particularly pleased that young people are given access to outdoor pursuits, residentials, cycling and Duke of Edinburgh Awards, as well as centre based activities.”

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