THOUSANDS of pounds has been awarded to youth organisations.

Grant funding was unanimously approved by Westhoughton Town Council for two groups in the area working to support young people, including the Get Active Westhoughton Youth Project and the Bolton Lads and Girls Club Westhoughton Outreach and Detached Project.

Councillor David Wilkinson said the Play and Youth Service requested around £30,000 to continue its activities as before. Bolton Lads and Girls Club requested approximately £14,000 to grow its presence in the area.

Representatives made presentations to the councillors, reviewing successful initiatives over the past year. The Play and Youth Service team recounted their engagement with 318 individual young people age 12 to 17 through the mobile activity box evenings. Other programmes include urban first aid courses.

The Lads and Girls outreach team spoke of their employability skills teaching, as well as one to one advice drop-in sessions.

Councillor David Chadwick spoke of the importance of the work being done, saying: "It's good that you are targeting the LGBT community. We want them to be accepted, it's important they are included."

Cllr Wilkinson said: "Both of these organisations give opportunities to do things to keep them in a secure environment. I think that is well worthwhile.

"The world is not always a safe place for young people. The more we can do to help and support them the better. It is a fantastic resource we have in Westhoughton."

He added: "Some adults see young people and see the enemy, it's absolute baloney. We were all young once.

"It's easy to condemn young people, but kids want to be positive in their lives. Life is tough as a kid these days, there's all the added pressures of the internet world. They get a bad press for the work of a very small minority."