Duke of Edinburgh Award teenager stays on at Zac's Youth Bar
10:03am Friday 16th August 2013 in News
LIAM Brooks enjoyed the three months he spent with a Farnworth youth project for his Duke of Edinburgh Award so much that he decided to stay on to help.
And it is the dedication and commitment he has shown to Zac’s Youth Bar, where he is still volunteering 18 months later, that has seen him shortlisted in the search to find Bolton’s Young Wonder.
Crompton Place shopping centre Bolton town centre has teamed up with the Bolton News to find young people in our communities who deserve a big pat on the back because they are a shining example to their peer group.
Sixteen-year-old Liam, who lives in Bolton and has just finished sitting his GCSEs at St James’ C of E Secondary School in Farnworth is the final young person of five to make the shortlist.
The overall winner, who will receive a bumper stack of prizes from retailers at Crompton Place, will be announced soon.
Zac’s Bar is an independent Christian charity with bases in Farnworth and Kearsley which offers care and support to young people and provides a meeting place, free from alcohol and other harmful influences.
The project was set up more than 12 years ago by a group of people from local churches. It is open to anyone regardless of their faith or beliefs.
Liam originally went to Zac’s Bar around two years ago to fulfil the volunteering requirement of the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award, which he gained shortly afterwards.
But, according to Zac’s youth worker Paul Saxon who has nominated him for Bolton’s Young Wonders, Liam enjoyed his spell there so much he decided to stay on when it came to an end.
Paul said: “Liam is one of a small number of people who help at our session for young people aged 11 to 18 who have special needs.
"He helps with activities which enable the young people to meet friends and generally enjoy themselves.
“Just after last Christmas he did a sponsored swim and raised money to repair the pool table.
“He is really well respected by staff and is an important and enthusiastic young team member and a real pleasure to be around. The young people he works with just love him.
“I decided to nominate Liam for the Young Wonder award because he sets such a good example to other young people.” Liam, who aims to apply for a scientific apprenticeship when he leaves school, said: “It was a nice surprise to find out I had been nominated for Young Wonders.
“The activities I help with include pool tourn-aments, table football and board games.
“We also have regular film nights where the young people vote on which films they would like to see.”
Liam, who also helps out with fetes and sales at St Stephen’s Church in Kearsley Moor, added: “I enjoy going to Zac’s Bar and helping out because there’s a great group of people down there.
“I talk to the young people and provide a bit of help and support if necessary and also play games with them.”
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