YOUNGSTERS can take part in a host of free activities thanks to a new £10,000 community scheme.
The Quid-a-kid scheme was set up by Flower Estate Residents Association to help keep Farnworth’s children off the streets.
Activities which would normally cost a pound per child are now available to them for free.
Young people aged eight to 16 get free access to Harper Green Leisure Centre on Monday, Wednesday and Friday night every week.
Through the scheme, youngsters have learned football skills from members of the Bolton Wanderers Community Trust as part of the nationwide Kickz programme which aims to engage young people from disadvantaged areas with sport.
One of the pioneers of the scheme is Pat Duckworth, chairman of the residents’ association, who went to Harper Green Leisure Centre to propose free access for children.
After raising £10,120 over 10 months to cover the cost, Ms Duckworth was able to see her dream become a reality.
She said: “We have been overwhelmed with the success the scheme has had. It’s been absolutely brilliant so far.
“A lot of young people cause trouble because of boredom so we introduced this scheme to give them somewhere to go and something to do.”
Funding came from Bolton Community and Voluntary Services, the Big Bolton Fund, the Harper Green Area Forum, and Bolton Council’s Neighbourhood Management Programme.
Officers from Bolton South Neighbourhood Policing Team have targeted areas of Farnworth and invited youngsters to take part in the activities and now the association plans to introduce activities for young girls, such as dancing. Ms Duckworth’s colleague Wanda Moores, vice-chairman of the association, said: “These are children who may not have same the same opportunities as other children and we want to give them that opportunity.”
Adam Warriner, a Community Cohesion Co-ordinator at Bolton Wanderers FC, held one of the sessions.
He said: “The turnout was amazing. The Kickz programme and Quid-a-kid are invaluable.”
l More photos online at the boltonnews.co.uk