TWENTY five local businessmen and women were at Zac’s Youth Bar in Farnworth to enjoy the charity’s latest supporters' breakfast event.

The event was the fifth since the well-known local organisation began its breakfasts at the end of last year and Karen Openshaw, Zac’s head of development and partnerships, said she was “delighted” with its success.

“We’ve had a brilliant response from businesses across Bolton,” she said. “We now run a patrons’ scheme to help funds because we are in urgent need of more income to provide our services. We are also getting some great offers of support, although we do need more.”

A cross-section of local companies was represented at the event to hear Mark Brocklehurst from the Sharples Group, which sponsored the event, talking about the fundraising adventure he and three other local men undertook last year.

They rowed 3,000 gruelling miles across the Atlantic to raise more than £250,000 for the Bolton Lads and Girls Club’s mentoring scheme.

Mr Brocklehurst is also an active supporter of Zac’s and spoke warmly about its valuable work in the local community.

Karen Openshaw explained how Zac’s helps youngsters move away from alcohol and drugs and towards a positive, rewarding lifestyle and possible careers. The Market Street venue is open six days a week, has a centre in Prestolee in Kearsley and also does detached work in Little Lever and Tonge Fold.

Zac’s costs £365,000 a year to run. In 2010, it had 900 young people regularly attending and that number rose to 1,600 in 2013/14 - “but with a 30% drop in our income, which is why we need help from local businesses,” added Karen.

Bolton firm Movetech UK was the first to take part in the patrons’ scheme and Karen presented director Tim Entwistle with a special certificate. Other local firms already offering support include The Purple Property Shop, Handelsbanken and thebestofbolton.

The next Zac’s breakfast event is on Thursday, April 2 from 7.30am to 9.30am. To book and find out more about the patrons’ scheme ring Karen on 01204 706200 and for more information on Zac’s go to