DISABLED youngsters will be able to take part in drama sessions thanks to generous theatregoers.

The Octagon Theatre, Bolton, is setting up a new youth theatre group for five to 12-year-olds after receiving donations totalling £2,300.

The money was raised thanks to collections held during the theatre’s festive production of Peter Pan.

The Octagon already provides sessions for people aged 13 to 25 with disabilities, through Bridges Youth Theatre, but was keen to expand its work.

Project leader and participation manager Jennifer Riding, from the Octagon, said: “We are extremely grateful to those who have donated to the Octagon bridges project.

“This money will enable us to start the new disability-focused children’s sessions, which we plan to start in April.

“This will cover a full year of sessions with a facilitator and a support worker, plus some initial taster sessions.

“It is a great start to a new project and a new year.”

The money raised during Peter Pan, staged from November to January, will cover 30 sessions.

Staff at the Octagon say they want to create theatre and experiences to “inspire and encourage learning in an environment which will nurture the ideas and abilities of everyone who visits”.

Bosses say the aim of Bridges Youth Theatre is to develop creativity, build confidence and enhance drama and theatre skills. Each term participants explore various arts and theatre skills in a “safe and fun environment”.

Organisers say they are also striving to make theatre and drama accessible to all, and the Octagon also runs a number of youth and community theatre sessions.

People can still donate to the project by sending a cheque made payable to Octagon Theatre Trust Ltd to Bridges Project, Octagon Theatre, Howell Croft South, Bolton, BL1 1SB.