Wanted: Investors to help our children

The Boathouse Youth at St Peter's Church, Lytham Road, Blackpool.
The Boathouse Youth at St Peter's Church, Lytham Road, Blackpool.
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A youth club is making plans to secure its long-term future.

The Boathouse Youth, which opens seven days a week for youngsters in Blackpool’s Bloomfield ward, is appealing for private funders to invest in the club.

Police figures show the club has helped reduce juvenile anti social behaviour in the Bloomfield area by 50 per cent, and managers are confident the impact they have had on the community will attract investors. The announcement regrading their future comes as club bosses fear they may run out of funding, as competition for grants increases.

Operations manager Laurence Hancock said: “We are trying to become much more sustainable, and as part of that, we don’t want to rely on grants because they are becoming harder to get.

“We don’t want to be in a position where we miss out on one and have to close the service down.

“We want to focus more on private funding and appeal to professional people that want to be a part of a fund-raising community and give money.

“Juvenile anti-social behaviour has reduced by 50 per cent since the Boathouse Youth opened, but Revoe has seen no reduction and that doesn’t have anything like this.”

The club has gone from strength to strength in the five years it has been open, and moved into a permanent home on Lytham Road last year.

David Brennand, chairman of trustees, said: “The benefits of investing are a combination of things because individuals from Blackpool can feel proud in investing in the youth of Blackpool and see the benefits and services we offer.”

In 2010 101 anti-social behaviour incidents were dealt with by police in Bloomfield. However, this had dropped to 49 by 2013.

PC Natali Harper, Bloomfield community beat manager, added: “It’s a fantastic group, and I feel the Bloomfield area would struggle to cope with youths without them.

“They also utilise Bancroft Park, attracting hundreds of kids there throughout the summer months, when other parks in Blackpool still see anti-social behaviour.”

For more information, call the Boathouse Youth on (01253) 804909.