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A FIRST-of-its kind scheme for children to develop into young citizens has been launched in Bolton.

Following the huge success of the country-wide National Citizen Service for 16 and 17-years-olds, Bolton Lads and Girls Club is now running a similar scheme for younger children.

The National Citizen Service was launched in 2010 as part of the government’s "big society" idea, to encourage more people to play a part in the community they live in.

Since then scores of teenagers have enrolled on to the programme, delivered locally by Bolton Lads and Girls Club.

The club launched its exclusive project for 10 to 14-year-olds at Highfield School in Farnworth. The first wave of 23 children took part in a “get to know you” session.

And over the coming nine sessions, the children will develop a range of social skills and a better understanding of the community they live in.

Organisers say the project will aim to “increase a young person’s confidence and self-esteem and also give them a sense of independence and importance”.

The children will take part in workshops such as team building, enterprise, research in the local community, planning a social action project before going out delivering the project.

The volunteering hours, and the effort children put into the project will be recognised through a graduation ceremony.

Carly Brown, youth club manager at the club, said: “I am really excited to be working on such a fantastic project and launching it in Bolton.

“Young Citizens will help many young people to increase their confidence, self-esteem and support them to get involved in their community.”

For more details, visit the club’s website boltonladsandgirls club.co.uk or call 01204 540 100.