A CHARITY which has transformed people’s lives through education has been forced to shut its doors after 10 years because of funding problems.
Bolton Literacy Trust, which was based in Great Lever, was set up with the aim of making people in Bolton a more literate.
It was hoped that the trust would create new opportunities for people, who would then be able to help their children develop a love of reading and improve their schoolwork.
But because of the recession, bosses say that funding for projects is becoming harder to obtain and the long-term future of the trust was fraught with uncertainty.
Trust board spokesman David Porter said: “The trustees very much regret having to take this decision but, unfortunately, like many charities, there have been question marks against its future and a combination of factors has now forced this action.”
The trust, based at the Essa Academy and run by a small team of staff, recently celebrated its 10th birthday with the launch of the Great Lever Family Learning Hub and Community Library.
The literacy trust was originally launched as a voluntary organisation that worked with Bolton Council, Bolton Libraries and Bolton Community College, as well as housing associations, ethnic minority groups, social services and local employers. Its projects — including family learning sessions at Johnson Fold’s Hope Centre — have helped adults develop reading, numeracy and IT skills, and helped refugees learn to speak English.
Bosses say that some adults who have taken part have since swapped mundane jobs for careers or gone to university. Mr Porter said that the board was very sad to close the centre, and wanted to thank everyone who had been involved with the trust over the past few years.
“The trust has helped thousands of individuals and families and, we hope, made a real difference to literacy, numeracy and IT skills in Bolton over the years,” he said.
“We are now looking at ways to hand over some of the project work to various existing organisations in the town and hope that the good work started by the trust can continue and be its legacy.”