A FORMER chaplain is heading back to the pioneering “youth bar” where she used to volunteer – to work as its head of development.

Zac’s Youth Bars, which is based in Farnworth, Kearsley and Little Lever, has recruited Karen Openshaw to establish links with schools, churches and businesses, to raise money and awareness for the charity.

The 49-year-old from Little Lever used to work for Zac’s as a volunteer, providing one-to-one support for children and young adults aged up to 25.

Karen said: “I want to ensure that young people in the area get as much support as possible and that Zac’s does more for the community.

"I’m passionate about helping young people – I love watching all the people I mentored years ago growing up. I hope that absolutely anyone who can help Zac’s get more funding will get in touch.”

Stuart Barnes, director of Zac’s Youth Bars, will be working closely alongside Mrs Openshaw and says he cannot wait for them to get started.

He said: “I’m really excited for Karen to join – we are growing all the time and we have a lot more young people to support, so we need to make new relationships to keep the project going.

“Karen has all the skills and personality traits we are looking for and I’m sure we will complement each other very well.”

Over the last three years, the number of young people supported by Zac’s has doubled, while Zac’s income has fallen by 30 per cent in that period.