A CHURCH-run youth club in Horwich is thriving despite the withdrawal of its double-decker fun bus several months ago.

The club, run by Churches Together in Horwich and Rivington, has been launched in the basement of St Catherine’s Church in Richmond Street — and 40 11 to 16-year-olds are turning up every week, according to organisers.

The Basement Club was opened after the Message Trust, the Christian organisation which ran the double-decker bus, opted to redirect its resources towards central Manchester.

Volunteers were determined not to allow the youth club to fold, and the basement of St Catherine’s proved to be the perfect solution.

Organiser Graham Smith said: “The basement was available, but it needed refurbishing.

“One of the volunteers who works at Forbo Flooring in Bamber Bridge, near Preston, managed to get a donation of 120 square metres of flooring, which saved us an awful lot of money.

“Other people donated equipment and we got up and running.

“All our money is raised through the churches of Horwich and Rivington and from grants. We are totally volunteer led and there are 15 of us helping out regularly.

“The youth club had been running for nearly five years and was very popular. The positive thing is that we have had youngster from the club volunteering to do other things for the churches of Horwich and Rivington, which is fantastic.”