A SOCIAL enterprise which works primarily with disadvantaged youngsters gave a glowing presentation of its services at the Great Lever area forum meeting.

Representatives from Raise The Youth Foundation, which is based in Holmeswood Road, Great Lever, talked about the organisation's aims and the work carried out by its volunteers.

Raise The Youth was set up in 2011 and supports young people across Greater Manchester, from different parts of Bolton to Oldham and Salford.

It provides day-to-day education, work experience, sports, support classes and musical activities to young people, with the aim of improving their future prospects.

The majority of people who use Raise The Youth's services are aged 11 to 24 and have had behavioural problems, poor attendance at school or were previously not in training, education, or employment (NEET).

Shane O'Neill recently became partnership director of Raise The Youth and is also a duty inspector for Greater Manchester Police.

Mr O'Neill said: "The reason I volunteered for Raise The Youth is because I saw the real difference it makes to the lives of so many young people.

"I've worked with lads who I've previously arrested that have turned themselves around using this initiative.

"When I first joined, the young people saw me as a policeman - now, they see me as a friend who they can talk to.

"I really believe that this changes young people's lives for the better."

Alex English is the manager of the studio at Raise The Youth's headquarters, where young people express themselves through the medium of music.

Mr English said: "I think music makes young people much more receptive.

"It gives them a chance to talk about issues they wouldn't otherwise feel comfortable talking about."

Also discussed at the meeting were the area forum budgets for 2013 to 2015.

The area forum flat rate budget to March 2015 is £13,425, while the highways maintenance budget is £19,200.

The Great Lever area forum meeting took place at Clarendon Primary School in Recreation Street, Great Lever, on Thursday night.